Independent EADS Testing Confirms the Ability of the LENS Process to Produce Metal Components with Superior Mechanical and High Cycle Fatigue Properties

Albuquerque, New Mexico 11 October 2006: Optomec announced today that mechanical property testing conducted independently by EADS (European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company) Corporate Research Lab in Munich showed that TiAl6V4 material produced by the LENS process offered equivalent or better properties than the same material processed conventionally. EADS independently tested the High Cycle Fatigue properties of components fabricated by the LENS process against literature data of traditional cast and wrought processes. The fatigue test was stopped at 162 million cycles (587MPa); the LENS sample was unbroken.

High performance components are often made from specialty materials like titanium that are time consuming and expensive to produce using subtractive methods. In extreme cases, the Aerospace industry quotes “buy-to-fly” ratios for machined parts that can be as high as 15:1, highlighting the inefficiency and waste that is inherent in traditional methods. The LENS process is an ideal alternative for the repair and production of such components because additive manufacturing provides for lower processing costs, faster turnaround, and significantly reduced material waste. The superior material properties with the LENS process serve to extend component life which reduces life cycle costs. The process also improves design flexibility by allowing faster design iteration, novel geometries, structures, and functional material gradients.

EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. The Group includes the aircraft manufacturer Airbus, the world’s largest helicopter supplier, Eurocopter, and the joint venture MBDA, the international leader in missile systems. The EADS Corporate Research Center conducts mechanical testing and non-destructive investigations for systems engineering and design processes, optical and thermo-mechanical control of systems, microsystems and several other applications areas. The Center is a multidisciplinary entity focused on the development of new tools and methods for engineering, simulation, testing, and manufacturing processes. Click here for detailed technical information from the EADS test results (PDF).

Optomec is the world leading provider of additive manufacturing systems for high-performance applications in the Aerospace & Defense, Electronics, and Biomedical markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s proprietary M3D aerosol-jetting technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of industry-leading manufacturers.

LENS is a registered trademark of Sandia Corporation.
M3D is a registered trademark of Optomec, Inc.