In the next few years, industry will have to drastically reduce its emissions. But some alternatives to coal, mineral oil or natural gas, such as "green" hydrogen, are not yet applicable: This fuel generates too high temperatures for common gas turbines. A research team at the Werner-von-Siemens Centre for Industry and Science in Berlin wants to solve this problem. In the "High-Temperature Applications" project, the researchers are developing components with innovative cooling concepts whose function and material are designed for temperatures well above 1000 degrees Celsius and a long service life.
The project partners are relying on additive manufacturing (AM) processes to have the necessary freedom in design as well as in testing suitable materials. The later prototypes will be manufactured by selective laser sintering (SLS). Many parameters, such as the power, focus and movement of the laser, must be considered to ensure that 3D metal printing delivers the desired result. CONTACT's goal is to significantly reduce the effort for the optimal set up of the SLS machine.
To this end, CONTACT's Industry 4.0 experts are digitizing the entire AM process chain via the Elements for IoT platform. This gives them the opportunity to advance toward the solution using different methods: By repeatedly simulating a manufacturing process with live parameters from the real process. By analyzing simulation data and sensor values from production. And by comparing the virtual results with the real parameter sets. The Digital Twin and new approaches from data analytics help to test the simulation model and improve it step by step.
The project results should not only help to reduce CO2 emissions from power plants and in the manufacturing industry. Companies will also benefit from new IoT processes and materials for 3D metal printing. Without traditional manufacturing techniques such as machining, milling or vacuum casting, complex metal components can be produced much faster and more cost-effectively - in aerospace, automotive, medical technology and related industries.
Siemens AG (coordination), four other industrial partners and various institutes of the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the Technical University of Berlin