The SGD$350,000 project – partly subsidised by the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) – will qualify the 3D printed metal part of an end-user component using a Selective Laser Melting 3D printing machine. The SLM technology can print complex parts in a variety of materials including stainless steel SS316L, which is widely applied across the industry owing to the corrosive nature of the maritime environment.

The first phase of this ten-month project begins in April 2020 to develop metal part printing procedures and carry out tensile, chemical and microstructure tests of the printing medium against ABS rules and standards governing weld and material strength. Phase two will include the 3D printing of a metal component –  a pump impeller – and evaluate the performance of the part in standard equipment. The project is expected to complete in January next year.

NYP’s Additive Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMiC) will develop the metal printing test plan, procedures and processes, facilitate testing and analysis. ShipParts.com will provide the design criteria for parts produced by 3D metal printing licensed via its consortium of manufacturing partners, while ABS will develop new testing and qualification standards and audit the manufacturing process.

ABS has already published Guidance Notes on Additive Manufacturing to introduce a qualification scheme that defines processes with sufficient clarity to achieve consistent, repeatable results. The outcome of this research will be a comprehensive certification process.

The partners believe that the metallic AM will revolutionise the maritime and offshore sectors, paving the way for distributed manufacturing and, reduced logistics, thus contributing to global efforts to decarbonize.