Prof Sisa Pityana, CSIR Principal Researcher and Dr Monnamme Tlotleng, CSIR Principal Researcher
Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is a term used to describe the fabrication of three-dimensional objects from raw materials, using an additive process where successive layers of materials are built to create a component.
These technologies are used for rapid prototyping of components in research and development, pre-production fabrication processes, as well as full-scale production operations. Advanced manufacturing, using laser 3D printing, is becoming the leading technology for research and development in the aerospace industry, specifically for rapid prototypes. In recent years, the CSIR has made significant investments in the development of laser additive manufacturing platforms for 3D printing of metallic components. The technology presents significant opportunities for the local aerospace industry to manufacture components using different materials such as Titanium aluminide and Nickel-based super-alloys. Titanium-aluminide alloys are currently being used as an alternative to nickel-based super-alloy in performance turbo chargers for automotive engines. The alloys are also being researched for their potential use in low-pressure turbine blades in jet engines. The CSIR’s Prof Sisa Pityana and Dr Monnamme Tlotleng share the latest developments and progress.