During the annual Meeting Materials conference of 13 December 2022, organized by M2i, Grade2XL held its third open Additive Manufacturing Challenge. For the Grade2XL contest we challenged engineers and researchers to design a novel, multi-material product that can be printed with wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM). The expert jury had a tough job judging all the designs that were submitted.

During the live award ceremony the chair of the jury, Dr. ir. Constantinos Goulas (Assistant Professor at University of Twente), co-chair Dr. ir. Marcel Hermans (Associate Professor at Delft University of Technology) and jury member Dr. Martin Schmitz-Niederau (Senior Expert New Welding Materials & Technology)   announced the winning disign, the PELTAM Bucket. The team, consisting of team leader Julio Cesar De Luca, Gregoire Bazin and Viktor Vavra of IRT Jules Verne, were very happy with winning the challenge. Julio Cesar expressed his gratitude to the jury and gave a pitch about the design to the audience. The winning team visited RAMLAB the next day for a tour of the facilities of RAMLAB and a first meeting about printing the PELTAM bucket. They are looking forward to collaborate with RAMLAB and see their idea printed.

Grade2XL at the M2i Meeting Materials

During the market fair, organized during the event, the winning design of last edition (April 2022) was shown. There was quite a lot of interest from the visitors of the conference.

One of the sub-session in the afternoon was dedicated to Grade2XL with presentation from Dr. Martin Schmitz-Niederau (Senior Expert New Welding Materials & Technology) about the certification of WAAM and from Dr. ir. Constantinos Goulas (Assistant Professor at University of Twente) about the Grade2XL project and the challenge within the project.

Winning idea: PELTAM Bucket

Manufacturing the Pelton turbine bucket with Additive Manufacturing allows the production of functionalized part with the following gains :

  • Reduction of the part weigh
  • Better water jet abrasion resistance
  • Reduction of capital expenditure and operating expenses
  • Flexibility and potential reduction on the maintenance

About the winning team

Julio-Cesar DE LUCA (Team Leader) is Senior R&D Engineer with PhD in Mechanical Engineering (Noise and Vibration) and Master in Metrology. Currently he is the European Technical leader at IRT Jules Verne. Serge PRIGENT (Conception AM Pale Pelton) is Expert Additive Manufacturing and WAAM, team leader of the team Process Manufacturing Metals. Viktor VAVRA (AM Technician – CAD drawing) is Technician Senior in mechanical conception and Additive Manufacturing part design and production.

The jury about the winning design

The purpose of the part is very interesting and promising with some small potential gains on the industry. The choice of a second material for water jet abrasion resistance allows the part to keep its original function and reduce its cost. The stiffener in the inside of the bucket, instead only on the outside is a novelty that is very interesting. This feature gives a weight reduction of the bucket, while also reducing the cost and energy utilization.

The Design contest will be held every year in December until at least 2023, with submission deadlines beginning November.

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