Metal Additive Manufacturing (Metal AM) or 3D Metal Printing are quite known terms for everyone all around the world. It goes without saying that Metal AM provides solutions for the industrial energy pains like equipment obsolescence, quick delivery of spare parts, possibility to manufacture on-demand and close to the request, possibility to reduce storage parts capacity. Metal AM provides a better “time to market” of new product development and may make it more performant (via a new design or/and new materials).
The main metal AM technology currently used is Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) technology that deals for many energy applications with following materials: stainless steel 316L, Ni-based alloys (Inconel 718, Inconel 625) and Ti-based alloys (Ti6Al4V). These process/material combinations are quite well developed and understood. Besides, the maturity level of technology adaption by the energy sector is still lower than by the aerospace and the medical. Everyone knows that the energy industry is quite traditional and conservative. The qualification and the certification of parts manufactured from innovative technologies is long and severe. Nevertheless, more and more energy industries believe in fast and economic viable solutions provided by AM processes. More and more AM standards appear. Their number continue growing that makes easier the adoption of the technology.
Recently, the important raise of interest from turbomachinery, oil & gas, chemical and even from renewable energy sector (fuel cells) towards the AM has been noticed. The concrete parts examples (burners, heat exchangers, impellors, elbows etc.) and the perspectives of the technology acceptance will be shown.