Additive manufacturing (AM) is now applied in the processing of most industrial metals, ceramics, polymers and composites, albeit at quite different levels of industrial readiness. The challenge is to develop equipment that allows the additive layer manufacturing of multi-materials items and multi-functional materials (for research, transport including aeronautic, consumer customised goods, communications, biomaterials and energy).
The development of novel materials is a primary challenge in the future development of AM. The challenge is also to use nanotechnologies to aggregate multiple materials within a single process, while improving or expanding their functionality, and enhancing their performance. This may include optical, rheological, mechanical, RF, electrical, magnetic, surface, thermal or process properties, controlled release, durability (accelerated aging and life time prediction) and quality.
By combining several materials, proposals should advance the state of the art through the development of ready assembled multifunctional devices. Proposals should demonstrate several simultaneous activities:
- Quantification of improved functionalities, properties, quality and lifespan of fabricated pieces;
- Evaluation of matching materials properties to the production process to enable the joining of dissimilar materials for AM tools;
- Demonstration of a better understanding of the nanotechnology integrated materials properties and manufactures;
- Integration and validation at early stage of the qualification and certification considerations of the materials;
- Joint development with material suppliers and end-users is required for a rapid uptake by industry;
- Modelling, standardisation and regulatory aspects (especially safety and nanosafety) and the process and materials qualification.
Activities should start at TRL 4 and achieve TRL 6 at the end of the project.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 6 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
- Improvement of the efficiency, quality and reliability of the product by at least 40%;
- Better use of raw materials and resources with reduced environmental impact and to lower cost by 35% as demonstrated by Life Cycle Assessment;
- New opportunities and business for SMEs across Europe (which are key players in advanced materials research for Additive Manufacturing).
Relevant indicators and metrics, with baseline values, should be clearly stated in the proposal.
Illustration Photo: Nanoforsterite with surface precipitates (credits: Bruce W. Arey and Andrew R. Felmy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, USA / ZEISS Microscopy / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))