Wayland Additive promotes innovation in metal additive manufacturing (AM) for production applications. This is achieved with the establishment of its proprietary and innovative NeuBeam® process as the go-to solution for a range of manufacturing applications across various industrial sectors. NeuBeam is a truly ground-breaking metal AM process that effectively neutralises the electron beam (eBeam) powder bed fusion (PBF) process to offer greater flexibility than laser-based AM processes while overcoming the stability issues many users of traditional eBeam AM systems experience. In addition, the NeuBeam process enables metallurgical requirements to be tailored to application requirements rather than the previous limitations of the process — to produce optimum results.
Neutralised electron charging for complete stability of process.
Flexibility of eBeam without the limitations.
Improved metallurgy optimized for the application NOT the manufacturing process.
Wayland developed and introduced NeuBeam to “neutralise” the problems associated with existing laser and eBeam powder bed fusion (PBF) metal AM processes. Only by doing this are new opportunities for application development and production in a growing palette of materials possible, which is the only way that metal AM will reach its potential as a viable production process across industry.
Wayland is able to offer an alternative, a “3rd way” with its proprietary NeuBeam process. NeuBeam overcomes many of the limitations of existing metal eBeam and Laser PBF processes, and through charge neutralisation, opens up new opportunities for application development and production with a wider and more open choice of metal materials.
NeuBeam is an open system, allowing the development of new processing parameters in a more straightforward way, which promotes innovative application development and optimises material usage. Complete process transparency and control also allow users to continually monitor and optimise their manufacturing processes in real time.
NeuBeam represents a completely new system architecture based on a stable, reliable and flexible electron beam powder bed fusion AM process. It is able to produce fully dense parts in a wide range of materials, many of which are not compatible with traditional eBeam or laser PBF processes such as refractory metals and highly reflective alloys. As a result, the NeuBeam process can demonstrate vastly improved metallurgy, without many of the compromises that existing metal AM processes necessitate.
NeuBeam is delivered with comprehensive, real-time, in-process monitoring that facilitates full traceability and layer wise quality assurance capabilities.
Wayland Additive challenges the preconceptions and expectations of companies assessing the use of metal additive manufacturing (AM) processes for production applications. Until now the choice has been stark, with options to either use industry-standard laser-based powder bed fusion (PBF) systems or unwieldy electron beam (eBeam) PBF technology. Both of these process types, to date, have demanded users make compromises that can negate the benefits of AM for many applications.
eBEAM PBF TECHNOLOGY
LASER PBF TECHNOLOGY
When compared with laser PBF systems, the eBeam PBF process exhibits favourable energy transfer physics. Electron beam PBF is also characterised by superior metallurgy, with less issues concerning residual stress than laser PBF, and therefore produces greater internal integrity within end-use parts. In addition, due to the fixed position of the laser(s), laser-based processes are considerably less flexible in nature.
NeuBeam opens up new opportunities for metal AM application development and production
However, the traditional EBM PBF process faces its own challenges and constraints. First, it is known to be an unstable process. This instability is caused by charge accumulation within the build chamber, which can result in powder scattering or a “smoke event” that destroys the current layer and ruins the entire build. This unreliability, coupled with a steep and long learning curve, means that the eBeam PBF additive manufacturing process has typically been considered less favourable than laser-based PBF processes.
Traditional workarounds for the EBM process have been developed by the AM industry, but these lead to downstream complexities that often negate the overall advantages of eBeam. For example, using very high processing temperatures across the entire build plate creates a part within a semi-sintered cake; this makes part removal and post processing very difficult, time consuming and expensive. These compromises also severely limit the materials that can be used, the geometrical forms that can be produced and ultimately the applications that can benefit from the eBeam process.
NeuBeam overcomes these limitations, opening up new opportunities for application development and production with much greater flexibility, vastly improved metallurgy options through a completely stable eBeam PBF process.