Leading advanced manufacturing consultancy firm TWI has worked with Lloyd’s Register on a joint industry project to develop certification guidelines for additively manufactured parts (albeit specifically for the energy and offshore sectors). The partnership has already led to the publication of a new Guidance Notes for Additive Manufacturing of Metallic Parts, which are available to download for free from the Lloyd’s Register website.
Certification can be achieved through application of the evolving international standards on AM, and by establishing requirements that prove AM’s uniformity with existing manufacturing methods, codes and standards. Setting these requirements through dedicated research includes the identification of legal requirements, part performance metrics, design and analysis methods, inspection and characterization procedures, quality assurance protocols, and validation tests.
Several standards development organizations are making efforts to build a set of standards for AM. For example, ASTM and ISO have set up joint working groups for developing standards:
- ASTM F42 Committee(ASTM F2792, ISO/ASTM 52915 and ISO/ASTM 52921)
- ISO TC/261 Committee(EN ISO 17296 Parts 1 to 4)
These committees are examining aspects of AM including design, materials and processes through to environment, health and safety and terminology. This activity is vital in overcoming many of the challenges associated with the application and approval of AM.
However, the development of standards for a rapidly evolving technology is an extensive and complex activity which will take years to bear fruit – so far only a small number of AM-specific standards have been published. The new guide and TWI’s work aims to make sure that several more will be established and published in the near future.