The AiM2XL programme is focused on metal-based additive manufacturing for the construction of large three-dimensional components by means of laser and/or arc welding. Application of these technologies to large-scale constructions poses a number of scientific and technological challenges, as well as providing novel opportunities for Dutch manufacturing industry.
M2i together with TU Delft and RAMLAB initiated an ambitious, fundamental research programme designed to remove the barriers limiting the full exploitation of the wire/laser based additive manufacturing and catapult Dutch industry into the forefront of additive manufacturing technology for large metal parts. Aim2XL is co-funded by TTW Perspectief program of Dutch national funding agency NWO.
Material centric approach
Traditionally, part construction is approached from a processing perspective. In the AiM2XL programme, we propose a material centric approach, in which design for properties plays a key role. Such an approach is not unique to large-scale structures, but is crucial at the large scale due to the relatively high heat inputs involved and the influence of macro–scale property gradients inherent in the deposited materials. A materials focus requires a sound understanding of the link between the thermal cycle and mechanical loading history of a component, which in turn determines the microstructure and resultant metallurgical, electrical and mechanical properties.
The programme involves six closely related research projects at four universities addressing three major research lines:
- Microstructure prediction and control;
- Microstructure – mechanical property relationships.