The Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies (AMMT) Program is aimed at developing cross-cutting technologies in support of a broad range of nuclear reactor parts, and to maintain U.S. leadership in materials and manufacturing technologies for nuclear energy applications. The overarching vision of the AMMT program is to accelerate the development, qualification, demonstration and deployment of advanced materials and manufacturing technologies to enable reliable and economical nuclear energy. One of its three goals is to target big challenges and game-changing technologies, to realize the mission and vision of AMMT program.
Based on this context, this multi-year work package focuses on understanding the current state of large-scale additive manufacturing (AM) technology for the deposition of 316L stainless steel materials for final components and mild steel for use in nuclear manufacturing processes. The targeted AM modality is directed energy deposition (DED), capable of fabricating components on the size scale of meters including valves, pumps, impellers. etc. that are challenging or difficult to source, especially when developing new systems or replacing obsolete components. Accordingly, the current writeup aims at providing a baseline literature survey on structure-property relationships in mild steel and 316L alloys. Also, information on preliminary trials to date involving these two alloys show tremendous potential of printing parts having complex geometry and thin- walled structures, such as nuclear valve and Hot isostatic Press (HIP) can, using wire based (Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing and Hybrid Additive Manufacturing) as well as blown powder DED machines. All of this is aimed towards (i) demonstrating the ability to fabricate large components for pressure boundary applications relevant to the nuclear community and nuclear manufacturing technology, and (ii) understanding the effect of different manufacturing technology on AM can production and post HIPed material for nuclear applications.
Another target of this writeup is to compile various in-situ monitoring tools that have been incorporated for different DED AM modalities, in order to understand process variability during the entire fabrication process. This can be correlated with processing-structure-property response surfaces and would add confidence around process quality verification and ultimately component certification for nuclear applications.