Materials Performance

JUN 2019

Materials Performance is the world's most widely circulated magazine dedicated to corrosion prevention and control. MP provides information about the latest corrosion control technologies and practical applications for every industry and environment.

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8 JUNE 2019 W W W.MATERIALSPERFORMANCE.COM UP FRONT Research Pact on 3-D Printing for Specialty Polymers Solvay Specialty Polymers (Bollate, Italy) has entered into a research collaboration agreement with Aerosint (Liège, Belgium) to develop an economically viable selective Air Force Base Utilizes New Ablative Cleaning Laser The corrosion control unit of the U.S. Air Force's 36th Wing at Andersen Air Force Base (Yigo, Guam) is now utilizing a new ablative cleaning laser to clean metals. The laser works by emitting ultraviolet (UV) rays strong enough to vaporize rust and other materials, such as paint and residue. "One great thing about the ablative laser is that it doesn't use harsh chemicals to clean the metal and it doesn't make any hazardous waste," says Staff Sgt. Brendan McCormick, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the 36th Maintenance Squad- ron's corrosion control unit. "It's environmentally friendly, which is some- thing we are consciously striving towards in the Air Force." The laser was provided to Andersen by the University of Dayton Research Institute (Dayton, Ohio, USA) in partnership with the Air Force Corrosion Prevention and Control Office as part of an on-location test trial. The ablative laser does not use chemicals and does not require normal disposable cleaning supplies. By contrast, only UV glasses are required to protect the eyes of the user and bystanders. According to the Air Force, the reduced need for supplies makes it cost efficient when used over longer time periods, since its only expense is the power required to run it. The tool also creates a very minuscule amount of waste in the form of a fine dust that can be easily vacuumed and disposed of without negative environmental effects. Along with being cheaper and safer, the ablative laser also saves time, the Air Force says. The laser cuts the rust removal and repainting process almost in half compared to traditional sanding methods. "The cost and time-saving benefits paired with the benefit of it being environmentally friendly make this tool a huge asset to our corrosion con- trol unit here at Andersen," says Technical Sgt. Michael Fossler, chief for the 36th Maintenance Squadron's fabrication flight. "Especially given that Guam is a more corrosive environment than most other Air Force bases." For more information, visit A member of the corrosion control unit at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, uses an ablative cleaning laser to remove rust from a stair lift. Photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Heal. laser sintering (SLS) printing process for high-performance polymers. According to the company, polymers such as its KetaSpire polyetheretherketone (PEEK) and Ryton polyphenylene sulfide have the potential to open new avenues in additive manufactur- ing. However, the company notes that their adoption with key powder fusion technolo- gies, such as SLS, remains limited. "SLS machines that can process high- temperature polymers are carefully designed and assembled with sophisticated and expensive components," says Edouard Moens, managing director with the Belgian startup company. Established in 2016, the company has developed a selective powder deposition system that enables full three- dimensional (3-D) control over material placement in powder-bed fusion printing processes. "At present, there is a significant operat- ing cost disadvantage during the build, which is the excessive waste of up to 90% of 'used-but-unfused' powder," Moens adds. "Our patented spatially selective, multiple- powder deposition system under develop- ment incorporates a nonfusible support material in each layer where expensive high- performance polymers are not required, thereby reducing material waste to very low levels." Effectively, the company's main inven- tion is an alternate powder recoating system that—instead of uniformly spreading just one single powder material—can selectively deposit two or more powders to form a single layer containing two or more materials. Solvay has cooperated with the startup company for over two years by supporting the development of the technology with advanced materials, as well as process and fusion expertise. "As with all innovative, groundbreaking technologies, there are many challenges to overcome," says Solvay's Brian Alexander, global product and application manager for additive manufacturing. "One of them is to develop and fully optimize high-perfor- mance additive manufacturing polymer powders for use at high temperatures along- side non-fusible materials in a multi-powder deposition process. Not only will this tech- nology make 3-D printing of high-perfor- mance polymers more affordable, it also will open up its potential to become a competi- tive industrial process for additive manufac- turing system manufacturers in the medical, aerospace, and automotive sectors." For more information, visit www.

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