HIP technology has become the decisive tool for the parts and components of leading laser additive manufacturing (AM) engineering company Aenium to certify materials and parts with the strictest quality and safety controls for the space sector. These developments require highly advanced, complex and processed materials that are capable of withstanding the demanding work they will be subjected to.
“For Aenium, HIP technology is necessary. Of the more than 1,500 components we have in orbit and in flight, many of them could not be there, certified and qualified had it not been for HIP“. These statements belong to Miguel Ampudia, R&D director at Aenium, an engineering company specialized in Additive Manufacturing technologies and complex material sciences, which uses Hiperbaric’s Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) technology.
This technology developed by Hiperbaric is a manufacturing process used to densify metal and ceramic parts. It is based on the application of high levels of pressure (up to 2,000 bar / 200Mpa) and temperature (up to 2,000 °C) through an inert atmosphere, to mainly metallic and ceramic parts and components in order to densify them and give them excellent mechanical properties.
Hiperbaric and Aenium maintain a Collaborative Industrial R&D Alliance focused on high value-added complex metals and alloys and new materials and post-processing through HIP technology. Between the two companies, the partnership ensures the advancement of Additive Manufacturing technologies and post-processes for complex materials engineering and drives the analysis of different types of advanced super alloys and new, so far untreated components for the most demanding industrial applications. According to Miguel Ampudia, “Thanks to HIP technology, we can certify materials with the highest quality and safety standards for the sectors we are targeting: aeronautics, space, energy, defense and other industries”.
HIP technology, the best ally for the space sector
There are strategic materials and components in the space sector that can only be manufactured by advanced manufacturing in a specific way. Such is the case of the elements that form part of satellites, rockets and their respective engines, turbomachines, burners, etc. “These developments need very advanced, complex and processed materials that are capable of withstanding the demanding work they will be subjected to. Therefore, advanced processes are needed to ensure and certify that these materials can be part of a satellite or rocket,” says Ampudia. HIP technology is key to this.
An X-ray inspection process of each part evaluates the suitability of the component and ensures that it will not fail during the combustion process. “If we find any pores in the part, they are solved with HIP technology, which repairs and densifies the component,” explains Aenium’s R&D director. Hiperbaric’s technology also makes it possible to cool materials very quickly using Fast Cooling technology, especially in materials whose capabilities may be impaired if they are not cooled quickly. Currently, this Valladolid-based engineering company is working with different NASA projects, in which Aenium has components in four of them.
“The more complex qualification components are required to go through a HIP process to ensure that the component will not fail. Materials engineering and the metallurgical process are closely tied to these innovations to ensure what some processes can’t do 100%. That is where HIP becomes our best ally,” says Miguel Ampudia.
You can listen to the complete presentation by Miguel Ampudia, R&D director of Aenium, which took place at Hiperbaric’s HIP Innovation Center in Burgos (Spain).