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Russian Agency Rosatom Is Developing a Metal 3D Printer for Nulclear Energy Applications

Rosatom, the Russian Agency for Atomic Energy si developing a new generation of printer for three-dimensional printing of metallic and composite products to be manufactured by the end of this year. The announcement was made during the Moscow forum NDExpo-2017 by Alexey Oak, the First Deputy General Director of JSC “Science and Innovation” (Research Division of the State Corporation “Rosatom”).

His presentation was part of the panel discussion on “Advanced manufacturing technology to build factories of the future” and was centered on materials science and technology to ensure the creation of a digital production workflow in the Energy sector.

As reported today by Indian Express, Russia’s nuclear energy corporation, Rosatom, is in advanced stages of implementing a plan to develop advanced metal additive manufacturing technology by producing 3D printed parts for the country’s nuclear industry. The production of components will be done on Rosatom’s industrial metal 3D printer, the first-ever developed by a Russian firm, officials indicated at a roundtable discussion at the Atomexpo 2017 forum.
According to Alexey Dub, first deputy director general of Moscow-based research firm JSC Science and Innovations: “Printing different objects with a 3D printer using layer-by-layer build-up is the so-called additive technology, which is being developed at Rosatom at an industrial level. Additive technologies make the production of complex-shape and critical parts cheaper, increase the quality characteristics of products and company competitiveness…” The printer uses the method of layer-by-layer selective laser melting, with metallic powders based on iron, titanium, aluminum, nickel, cobalt and others expected to be used as raw materials.
The Rosatom has already been prototyped and successfully tested. Known as the Melt Master 3D 550, the sample pilot type series 3D printers is intended for the manufacture of complex products made of metal powders and alloys by selective laser melting. In addition, a technical justification for standard line of equipment for different types of three-dimensional printing.
The system will operate on the basis of domestic software, harmonized with the possibility of creating products with a new design topology optimization. The new generation of 3D printers, in the words of Oak will be more productive and faster through the use of multiple lasers.

“The industrial production printers for printing three-dimensional metal products has a great future, and not only in the nuclear industry”, said Alexey Oak. “The need for medical institutions in our country only in the endoprosthesis, which can also be produced by the 3D-printer, can be measured in the order of up to a hundred thousand parts per year. The market can be estimated at a figure of more than 8 billion rubles. And this is only one direction of the use of products made by three-dimensional printing. Creating a new generation of 3D-printers, which will be able to print not only metal but also composite products, further expand the range of possible applications of this technology. ”

The development of additive technologies seems like a promising strategic direction of the State Corporation “Rosatom”. It is planned that the cost of domestic printer will be 20% lower than their foreign counterparts, and characteristics – higher. Metal powders of 3D printers will also be manufactured domestically. The main issue today is the accelerated development of the regulatory framework for the use of technology as a fully fledged part of serial production.

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