Operational Development Cell for Electron Beam Melting (EBM)
Development of an AM Electron Beam Melting (EBM) cell at the GKN Aerospace site in Filton was a two year, £3.7m ATI-approved project initiative by GKN Aerospace. It was aimed at working toward developing the first qualified Additive Manufacturing (AM) R&D facility in the UK, specialising in developing high value/high complexity items via AM.
The EBM process utilises a high-power electron beam to melt metal powder a layer at a time to build the desired component. EBM provides the advantage over other AM processes of producing high density parts at faster build rates. The advanced AM components can be up to 50% lighter than conventional components, with no or little waste, and new and novel designs, resulting in substantial weight reduction and increased efficiency and performance.
As part of the work in the development cell, GKN entered a strategic partnership with Arcam AB to develop and industrialise EBM technologies and have purchased machines for the facility to allow GKN to develop and manufacture complex titanium structures at the high volumes required to meet future demand.