Johnstown, Pennsylvania, April 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As the U.S. nuclear fleet ages, the availability of critical spare parts becomes a significant issue. Many of these parts are no longer available from the original manufacturers or have extremely long delivery times and high costs from foreign suppliers. Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC), operator of the Center for Advanced Nuclear Manufacturing (CANM), led an effort to develop three-dimensional (3D) digital models from physical samples using advanced scanning technologies, then applied advanced manufacturing technologies to produce new components.
In this project, which was funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, CANM worked closely with Westinghouse Electric Company, regional suppliers and three of Pennsylvania’s major electric utilities to apply technologies from advanced manufacturing to reverse engineering and manufacturing of typical components. demonstrate the viability of this approach.
“CTC’s Center for Advanced Nuclear Manufacturing, working with Westinghouse and other Pennsylvania manufacturers, has demonstrated that advanced reverse engineering and manufacturing technologies can provide quick and inexpensive solutions to a growing problem in this industry. said Robert E. Akans, Senior Director of CTC Metalworking Technology. “The technology roadmap created by this team can be a valuable tool for all industries facing these obsolescence issues.”
The project team evaluated several candidate components and assemblies that posed significant challenges to end users and ultimately selected four representative items for demonstration. This diverse mix of parts allowed the team to apply reverse engineering technologies to generate suitable part models, as well as evaluate and apply various advanced manufacturing technologies to produce dimensionally accurate and functionally accurate components. acceptable. Components selected included a bronze valve assembly subject to severe erosion, a non-metallic circuit breaker cover, a large, complex 3-piece bearing support assembly, and a high-pressure globe valve.
Advanced manufacturing processes applied to produce the components included: • 3D printed sand molds to cast bronze valve components and large complex cast iron parts • Powder bed laser fusion printing of valve bodies directly from from a solid model • Binder Jetting Additive Manufacturing (BJAM), combined with bronze alloy infiltration to directly print valve components with improved erosion resistance.
All of the technologies demonstrated have negated the costs of creating patterns, molds, and other tools that can be prohibitive for small quantities of parts. The resulting components were dimensionally evaluated against the part models and demonstrated excellent conformance to the part models.
“Parts obsolescence is a pervasive problem in the nuclear power industry, and the accomplishments of this team clearly demonstrate that the manufacturing technology advancements of recent years offer excellent opportunities to address these issues,” said said Edward J. Sheehan, Jr., president and CEO of CTC. . “Through these efforts, opportunities for growth in the manufacturing sector of Pennsylvania businesses are enhanced.”
Case study summaries have been prepared for each of the demonstration parts that have been provided to electric utilities for their use. A comprehensive summary that essentially provides a “road map” of the overall reverse engineering process has been prepared and is available to interested organizations.
Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) is an independent, not-for-profit, professional services organization for applied scientific research and development. CTC works with its technology transition subsidiary, Enterprise Ventures Corporation, to leverage research, development, test and evaluation work to deliver transformative, full lifecycle solutions. To better meet the needs of our customers, we offer the complete capacity to design, develop, test, prototype and build. We provide robust, engineered, and innovative solutions that protect our national security, maintain America’s technological advantage, and ensure American-made primacy. For more information about CTC, visit www.ctc.com.
CANM and Westinghouse apply advanced manufacturing technologies for nuclear power plant fleet
Mary Bevan Concurrent Technologies Corporation 814-269-2490 [email protected]
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