Additive Manufacturing (AM) is beginning to surround the atom. Around the world, the nuclear weapons and energy industries are increasing the efficiency of their manufacturing processes by adopting AM. Global nuclear giants, state-run agencies and other members of the nuclear industry are exploring new potentials and abilities based on developing AM capabilities.
On one hand, there are several research projects by the nuclear fraternity as evidenced by the US Dept. Of Energy’s (DOE) additive microfabrication of TRISO fuel embedded in radiation resistant materials, ROSATOMs Additive Manufacturing machine offering the ability to print in copper and iron among others, LLNL’s direct writing AM technique in which molten metal is forced through a nozzle, as well as their software for melt-pool formation monitoring and failure prediction of 3D Printed parts.

On the other hand, actual components such as pressure vessel cylinders, gamma-ray imaging systems, lower tube sockets, impellers and housings are either installed or in the testing stages. Components related to the manufacturing process itself such as toolings, fixtures & dies are lower-risk applications in the nuclear industry and have less stringent validation and deployment parameters.

It is evident that the nuclear fraternity is committed to adopting and proving Additive Manufacturing as a go-to manufacturing technology for nuclear applications.

Typically, the native steel alloys available for SLM would be used for a variety of applications in nuclear energy such as the components described above. Wipro 3D is keen to adapt new materials relevant to the nuclear industry such as Niobium, Tantalum, Zirconium by collaborating with a partner in the nuclear industry.

Nuclear Case Studies coming soon

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