Additive Manufacturing

One of the most important factors of competitiveness is innovation, R&D activities represents the discriminating of that.

Innovation is the ability to develop new competitive products, processes and services, on the world market“. The R&D activity in Sòphia is therefore essential not only for the development of new engineering solutions, based on high knowledge-intensive, but also to the diffusion of innovation in the Company and in the institutions that collaborate with Sòphia to achieve these results.

Passion and curiosity drive our innovations.

For us, the Industrial Research provides a close and programmatic cooperation with Universities, public and private Research Institutions and Industries. Sòphia develops in fact the results of research by transferring them on an industrial scale.

Additive Manufacturing

By the market emerges the growing need for products with customized geometries, which are not always achievable by using conventional technologies. This requirement must necessarily be combined with a pre-established level of performance desired by the customer and on the other with cost competitiveness

Sòphia High Tech produces “nearly zero defects” ITEM with customized alloys according to the client’s needs

 

The Company is promoter of the “Industry 4.0 ” philosophy, through which it sponsors the additive production (3D printing) and the reverse engineering of complex structures.

 

 

This type of approach optimizes industrial production by significantly reducing waste, both in terms of energy and materials used. It also brings significant advantages in terms of designing and customizing products.

 

Additive Manufacturing Flow Activity- Sòphia High Tech

Sòphia is focusing its energy and financial investments on additive manufacturing and advanced metal powder mixing. R&D projects in which the company is involved are many and involve the various transport sectors such as aeronautics, automotive, defense and space.

 

Precisely in the Space sector, the company is working, in partnership with AVIO, on the redesign of the VEGA-E launcher components using ALM technolgy. Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) is the technology that allows to produce complex three-dimensional parts through a layer-by-layer printing process starting from metal powders, avoiding the use of traditional processes. In this direction, one of the main projects is AMMEP

AMMEP (Additive Manufacturing by Mixing Elemental Powders), funded  by the Ministry of Economic Development (Prog. n. F/050320/02/X32 – CUP: B38I17000430008 – COR: 309480)

The AMMEP Research Project upsets the concept of additive manufacturing by developing a new technological process through which it will be possible to obtain three-dimensional objects made of metallic material with a customized alloy according to the mechanical and thermal characteristics to be conferred to ITEM. This technology can be widely used to obtain manufactured articles in metallic material capable of enhancing certain properties of one or more elements of an alloy and / or combining them in order to obtain predetermined performances.

The project, now in an advanced stage, involves the construction of the combustion chamber of the third engine stage of the Vega-E launcher, entirely in Additive Manufacturing (Sòphia has developed an ALM system). This component is following an attentioned qualification process before going into working phase (estimated in 2024). The main development by Sòphia is the realization of a metal powder mixing apparatus. This technology involves the use of a fluidized sound bed, created in partnership with the CNR (National Research Council). Thanks to this method of mixing, the Company is creating different types of metal powders to use in additive technologies.

In fact, when the need to obtain complex shapes meets the need for custom properties, such as specific thermal and mechanical features, which today are obtained by coupling materials with a solution of continuity, immense scenarios of applied research open up.

In this case, the above-mentioned problem has been solved with the development of an advanced mixing technology of metal powders, such as to guarantee the homogenization of distinct metals in the particulate state. Then, by using ALM (Additive Layer Manufacturing) techniques, it is possible to obtain the diffusion of the elements at the level of the crystalline grain which allow the formation of an alloy not present on the market.

Additive Manufacturing – Sòphia High Tech Plant

Structural analysis techniques were also developed to estimate the levels of critical damage and residual resistance of ITEMS. The main target is to define design and processing protocols in order to carry out structural optimization. In this sense, the Company’s management is increasingly focused on structural optimization. The whole is validated with appropriate experimental comparison tests.

 

"Chi progetta sa di aver raggiunto la perfezione non quando non ha più nulla da aggiungere ma quando non gli resta più niente da togliere" Antoine de Saint-Exupery (scrittore e aviatore francese)
“Who designs knows he has achieved perfection not when he has nothing more to add, but when remains nothing left to take away” Antoine de Saint-Exupery (French writer and aviator)

 

 

Scientific Publications