It is a gift of a special kind: AMAG – Austria's largest aluminum manufacturer – is donating a state-of-the-art additive manufacturing facility to the Technical University in Graz.
Partnership for additive manufacturing
The contact between the two partners already has a tradition: AMAG entered the aerospace component manufacturing business a year and a half ago with AMAG components. AMAG components is involved in additive manufacturing for titanium structural components for aerospace – in research through to demonstration parts. Using the so-called WAAM process – Wire-Arc-Additive-Manufacturing or wire buildup welding – components are built up layer by layer and then given their final shape by mechanical processing.
Graz University of Technology operates a laboratory for additive manufacturing, headed by Franz Haas, head of the Institute of Manufacturing Technology, and Christof Sommitsch, head of the Institute of Materials Science, Joining and Forming Technology. Both professors are members of AMAG's Scientific Advisory Board, a body that advises AMAG on R&D strategy and project selection, while also serving as a link to university research and training.
A state-of-the-art tool for training
To strengthen cooperation and promote research and training in the field of additive manufacturing, AMAG has now donated a state-of-the-art system from the inventory of AMAG components in Übersee am Chiemsee to Graz University of Technology. The system, with a value of around €800,000 when new, was most recently used at AMAG components for research and the production of demonstration parts made of titanium.
In the university environment, insights into material behavior and the achievable properties of the components produced from different materials (e.g. also aluminum) are now to be gained by incorporating the expertise of the two participating institutes. This will provide students with a state-of-the-art industrial tool for their education.
Franz Haas, head of the Institute of Production Engineering at Graz University of Technology, sees this as "a clear sign of appreciation for our work and achievements. The timing of the donation is particularly appropriate, as we are holding a major international conference on the subject of additive manufacturing at TU Graz in the fall, at which we also plan to present the new system."
The state-of-the-art facility for additive manufacturing of titanium components.