Three multi-national corporations are the latest companies to sign on to a joint industry project (JIP) focusing on a pathway to certification for additively manufactured (AM) industrial parts.

The project, run by LR and TWI for just over a year, is examining how to achieve code compliance for additively manufactured materials. Currently there are no codes nor standards providing guidance for the assessment of AM materials and their performance in the oil and gas industry.

The new project sponsors are:

  • ConocoPhillips, the world’s largest independent E&P company, based in the U.S.;
  • Sulzer, a Swiss industrial manufacturer focusing on flow control and applicators; and
  • Petrobras, a Brazilian integrated energy company with operations in E&P, refining, production, and marketing of oil, natural gas and biofuels.
    Chevron, Sellafield, AECC BIAM, and AVIC MTI have previously signed on as sponsors.

“The addition of these new major players in the sector demonstrates how the adoption of additive manufacturing is accelerating within the energy industry,” said David Hardacre, Project Leader for LR. “As more companies look to AM as a way to reduce asset downtime through the production, repair, and replacement of safety-critical parts, it’s clear they also need to ensure that these parts are compliant with the relevant regulations, codes and standards, which differentiates our project.”

“The collaboration between LR and TWI on this project has been instrumental in defining a material testing program relevant for identification of a ‘path to acceptance’ for AM materials in existing Standards,” said David Griffiths, the TWI project manager. “Contributions from the project sponsors have also helped us to make sure the content of the test program is relevant for a range of industries.”

The JIP will generate material property data and understanding of 316L type stainless steel used in three AM processes: powder bed fusion (PBF), wire arc AM (WAAM), and laser metal deposition (LMD).

Phase one of the project has been completed, which involved:

  1. Assessing the standards selected by the members of the sponsor group;
  2. defining test coupon geometries and associated cutting plans for test specimens;
  3. producing test plans for powder and wire feedstocks;
  4. specifying the requirements for mechanical and metallurgical testing;
  5. numerical modelling of the PBF and WAAM processes to facilitate development of the build parameters.