3D printing is enabling many advancements, from improving ecosystems and the medical industry to reducing emissions; Siemens latest innovation is embracing additive manufacturing and its capabilities.
Siemens has reportedly 3D-printed and engine tested a dry low emission (DLE) pre-mixer for the SGT-A05 aeroderivative gas turbine, claiming it shows potential to significantly reduce CO emissions.
The DLE pre-mixer is complex. Prior to additive manufacturing, traditional methods meant that in total, over 20 parts were involved in the casting and assembly.
However, by using Siemens’ qualified nickel super alloys as the additive manufacturing printing material, the component – when 3D printed – requires just two parts, this has reduced lead time by around 70%.
This is an example, where 3D printing has enabled a simplified process, a reduction of external dependencies in the supply chain, and also improved the actual component, which has meant – according to the company – a lower emissions rate.
From concept to engine test, the development has taken only seven months. The first engine testing of the AM part, was also recently completed and the data received is reportedly promising.
Siemens said its DLE solution for the SGT-A05 gas turbine reduces emissions through advanced lean burn combustion technology, eliminating the need for water injection. The DLE conversion reduces customers’ operating costs associated with water treatment.
Case study: Additive manufacturing in the medical industry
3D printed metal implants could last longer than regular implants, be more durable and potentially save the medical industry money it so desperately needs.
Chris Sutcliffe, Professor at the University of Liverpool and R&D director for Renishaw, sat down with The Manufacturer to talk about how “additive manufacturing will revolutionise the whole orthopedic implant industry”.
He explained that the implants developed are made with a 3D porous surface, which resembles the structure of bone, he said: “Our implants don’t need screws or adhesives and both the initial fixation straight after implantation and the long term stability are fantastic.”
The surface enables the AM implants to fit “perfectly” to the bone because of their structure, and make an effective biological integration, therefore lasting longer than regular implants.
Case study: 3D printing to save coral reefs
A collaborative project between Emerging Objects, Boston Ceramics and SECORE (Sexual Coral Restoration), has created 3D printed substrates to attract coral larvae to reefs, and encourage their multiplication.
Corals naturally emit ova and spermatozoa, these are being collected by SECORE, fertilized, and then raised until they become free-swimming larvae.
When they become larvae, they are then introduced into carrier units that have been created via 3D printing technologies. These units attract the larvae, which then attach to it and this process forms corals.
Corals then encrust onto the units, and they are planted in reef areas requiring restoration. After several tests, the most suitable material to use as a carrier was a type of ceramic material, something provided by Boston Ceramics company.
While this is an efficient strategy, implementing the project would be time-consuming and costly, but if this is the only solution, the negative impacts of dying corals on the environment surely make a good case for wide-scale production of 3D printed substrates.
SECORE intend to produce hundreds of thousands of units per year, and one million 3D printed units by 2021.