November 11, 2022
The pressure vessel realized by Andritz Savonlinna Works Oy and the Finnish Additive Manufacturing Ecosystem FAME is probably the largest 3D printed pressure vessel in Europe. This will be confirmed at the latest at the main event of additive manufacturing, Formnext Frankfurt, where the pressure vessel presents Finnish skill.
The strategic dimensions of the 3D printed pressure vessel are unusually handsome for a metal 3D print. The approximately 300 kg vessel has a diameter of 900 mm and a height of 1600 mm.
It was made of stainless steel (316L) with Andritz Savonlinna Works Oy’s additive manufacturing system, whose operating principle is directed energy deposition, arc as an energy source (DED-Arc). The method is usually referred to as WAAM (Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing).
The pressure vessel of this size does well even in a global comparison.
“At least one this size of a pressure vessel has been 3D printed in Europe. It was made of titanium. This is larger in size. There are a few examples of similarly sized or larger 3D printed pressure vessels from other parts of the world,” says Santeri Varis, Additive Manufacturing Manager from ANDRITZ Savonlinna Works Oy.
The metal giant will be the object of comparison and admiration from November 15 to 18 at Formnext Frankfurt, the main event of the year for additive manufacturing professionals.
“FAME has 3D printed many kinds of projects with its members, and this time we ended up building and testing a pressure vessel, because the combination of high-quality requirements of pressure equipment and a metal part additively manufactured in this size represent well those hidden possibilities that are not typically seen,” says Ecosystem Lead Markus Korpela from DIMECC Ltd.
“It has been great to see how the significant research and development work of ANDRITZ Savonlinna Works Oy for their DED-Arc process and above all its results have also activated other companies to realize its possibilities and take actions towards larger scale metal additive manufacturing,” Korpela adds.
Tests and research articles
After manufacturing, a third party performed a non-destructive material test (NDT) on the pressure vessel with liquid penetrant testing, and later it will be subjected to a pressure test itself.
“We will get information about the final properties of the pressure vessel and how it compares to the standards from the non- and destructive tests performed. Based on these, we can find out how to implement similar products for commercial production. Even though testing is still going on, this has already been truly amazing project to carry out and it has given valuable experience on 3D printing in this size range. Also, Elomatic Oy and LUT University deserve acknowledgements in this project, since we have been getting support in design and testing phase from them,” says Santeri Varis.
LUT University will execute the pressure test and publish research articles on the pressure vessel.
”3D-printable parts of this size class are well suited to the needs of the metal industry. With the method, it is possible to produce purposeful solutions with aesthetic designs, so the business potential of the field is significant. We are excited to participate in determining the performance determined by the material and geometry of the products,” says Professor Timo Björk from LUT University.
Design agency Elomatic Oy was involved in the design of the pressure vessel.
“Additively manufacturing pressure vessels significantly increases the possibilities for design and dimensioning. Highly optimized solutions can be implemented more easily and the design can also be displayed in the vessels. Elomatic wants to develop its expertise at the forefront of 3D printing, so ANDRITZ Savonlinna Works Oy’s printable pressure vessel was an interesting opportunity for our experts in pressure equipment design and strength calculation to develop new solutions,” says Design Manager Martti Tryyki of Elomatic Oy.
The entire value chain covered
FAME Ecosystem (Finnish Additive Manufacturing Ecosystem) is the main additive manufacturing entity in Finland. It covers the entire AM value chain and provides a smooth way to find the best partners for high quality additive manufacturing. FAME Ecosystem partners excel at demanding AM applications, quality in high volumes and ambitious designs.
FAME Ecosystem is led by DIMECC Ltd, the innovation platform of Finnish manufacturing industry. The ecosystem is funded by the members and Business Finland.
The members are AMEXCI, ANDRITZ Savonlinna Works Oy, CITEC, Dekra, Elomatic, EOS Finland, Etteplan, Fastems, Lillbacka Powerco, Patria, Ponsse, Raute, SME Elektro-Group, Valmet, VILPE, Wärtsilä, 3D Formtech, Kongsberg, Brightplus, 3D-Step, Apricon, Delva, Evomax, Hexagon, Huld, Maker3D, Malvern Panalytical, Metlab, MiniFactory, Mitutoyo, SelectAM, Tamspark, Vossi and ZEISS Finland.