S. Grdanovska, C. Cooper
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory,
Keywords: advanced manufacturing, e-beam, electron beam accelerator,
Summary:Additive manufacturing, and specifically 3D printing, is a rapidly emerging industry. Additive manufacturing processes, like electron beam welding and printing, are vital because they can produce parts with improved properties, using less material and with quicker manufacturing times for low volume parts. Additive manufacturing via e-beam technology allows creation of complex designs that can be rapidly prototyped and tested. This significantly reduces the time and money it will take for industry to bring new and stronger components to the market. Key applications for advanced manufacturing include production of high-value parts for the nuclear and aerospace industries. For example, additive manufacturing can help overcome the problems with weld performance in harsh reactor environments by eliminating the welds. This technology could be used in the nuclear industry for the fabrication of small modular reactors (SMR). Currently, component size and build speed is limited by the beam power of the electron beam accelerator. The ability to print parts faster, larger, at higher quality and across a wider range of materials is essential to the wide adoption of additive manufacturing of metals. Fermilab has patented a high-power, high-energy compact electron beam technology that could overcome these obstacles.