Large-format Metal and Thermoplastic/Polymer Additive Manufacturing with Easier and Faster Qualifications

The difference is clear.

Keystone has developed real-time closed-loop controls and metallurgical algorithms to create highly repeatable additive manufacturing (AM) processes. These tools allow us to qualify and manufacture high performance critical and non-critical components for demanding aerospace, defense, and industrial markets.

The Challenge

Rapid Qualification of Parts in Low Volumes.

NASA: Safe Implementation and Qualification

“The greatest challenge associated with the implementation of AM in aerospace systems lies not in changing paradigms, but in the safe implementation and qualification of a new and rapidly changing technology. “  NASA, 2018

NIST: Extensive Empirical Testing

NIST 2017: “AM Materials and processes used to produce critical components for defense, aerospace, and medical applications must first be formally qualified. Extensive empirical testing to fully qualify a material often requires many thousands of individual tests, costing millions of dollars and 5 to 15 years to complete.

Competitive Advantage

Keystone provides customers a very near-term system level qualification in part quantities as low as of one.

Extremely Repeatable Process

Keystone has experience in multiple metal AM processes including laser powder processing and directed-energy wire-fed processes.  Coupling our additive manufacturing process experience with decades of technology development and insertion into aerospace products and production, Keystone designed and developed real-time closed-loop process controls, metallurgical algorithms, and metals-processing methods to create an extremely repeatable process with time-tested reliability.  These algorithms enable critical repeatability which is a fundamental prerequisite to component and system level qualifications regardless of the AM process utilized.

System Level Qualifications

Keystone's processes result in faster system level qualifications instead of empirical testing due to uniformity of properties.

Keystone’s resulting variation in material properties is so minimal that third-party standards organizations qualify/certify these alloy systems independent of part geometry, machine, or raw material suppliers enabling a faster path to system level qualification for flight quality components.

Two alloy systems are qualified by MMPDS (Titanium 6-4 and Stainless Steel 3166) and an additional six are in process.

“I have completed the B-basis allowable statistical analysis of the Keystone AM process data and have not found any statistically significant variation with feature type nor evidence of anisotropic tensile properties. Jana Rubadue, Retired Manager, MMPDS (Battelle)”