ASTM International, U.K. Fast-Track Additive Standards

Jan. 16, 2019
Global standards organization ASTM International and three United Kingdom-based entities are partnering to fast-track the creation of technical standards needed by the additive manufacturing industry.

Global standards organization ASTM International and three United Kingdom-based entities are partnering to fast-track the creation of technical standards needed by the additive manufacturing industry. ASTM International’s Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence – in which the UK-based Manufacturing Technology Centre (the MTC) is a founding partner – identified three potential areas for standardization. The effort is supported through a £300,000 investment from Innovate UK (a UK government agency) to BSI (British Standards Institution) in partnership with ASTM International.

“Innovate UK is pleased to support the creation of publicly available specifications to help drive economic growth through innovation in high-value manufacturing,” says Robin Wilson, the innovation lead for high value manufacturing at Innovate UK and an advisory board member of the center of excellence. “This is a smart partnership that brings together UK expertise in key areas of additive manufacturing along with the infrastructure and leadership of ASTM International and its young center of excellence.”

BSI will coordinate the development of the three standards, which are focused on directed energy deposition (DED), one of seven categories of additive manufacturing as defined by ASTM International and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO/ASTM 52900). DED uses focused thermal energy (e.g., laser, electron beam, plasma arc) to fuse materials by melting as they are being deposited.

ASTM International’s global additive manufacturing director, Dr. Mohsen Seifi, notes that DED technology offers unique advantages related to speed and build-envelope limitations. However, he says, “DED is not as widely used nor understood as some of the other additive manufacturing processes. Lack of standards are quite evident.”

Seifi adds, “Among their many benefits, these new standards have the potential to help manufacturers and suppliers make products with consistent and reliable quality.”

The three DED standards under development are:

  • a specification for using wire as a DED feed-stock, helping address key requirements including composition, dimensional tolerances, contamination, packaging, handling and storage;
  • a standard for nondestructive testing (NDT) which aims to address typical causes and natures of DED defects while also reviewing traditional test methods for applicability to DED; and,
  • a standard for DED wire-and-arc additive manufacturing (WAAM), which aims to cover terminology, material opportunities and restrictions, geometrical constraints, finishing requirements, inspection and more.

After the publicly available specifications are created through BSI, ASTM International’s committee on additive manufacturing technologies (F42) plans to develop international standards based on each through a new licensing agreement. ASTM International has a preexisting partner standards development organization agreement (PSDO) with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in additive manufacturing which allows for creation of joint ASTM International/ISO standards. BSI, as the UK member of ISO, will be able to adopt these international standards as the UK national standard.

Of interest, you may wish to read a recent Chemical Processing article, "3D Printing Adds A New Dimension To Process Equipment."  

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