Singapore’s Keppel Technology & Innovation has gained a verification certificate from international ship classification body Det Norske Veritas (DNV) for technology developed by additive manufacturing partner AML3D (ASX: AL3).
DNV’s Global Additive Manufacturing Technology Centre of Excellence in Singapore approved a 3D printed, deck-mounted Panama marine chock (with a safe working load of 150 tonnes) manufactured by AML3D for use in shipbuilding.
Panama chocks are large shipboard fittings for towing and mooring and are traditionally manufactured by casting before being welded to a ship as a supporting hull structure.
Intended for non-class maritime applications, Keppel’s product is the world’s largest 3D-printed shipboard fitting and was made by AML3D using its patented wire arc additive manufacturing process which employs medium strength structural steel grade ER70S-6 wire feedstock.
As part of the qualification process, a 1,450 kilogram Panama chock was designed and produced to meet international standards and Keppel’s project specific material specification.
Material yield strength was twice that of the original cast material and was produced with “acceptable internal soundness” that was confirmed by mechanical and non-destructive testing and evaluation methods.
The part was then proof load tested to a 20% higher load than its design working load, with results reviewed by all parties including Keppel, its subsidiary Keppel Offshore & Marine, AML3D and Singapore civil engineer Marinelift Testing & Supply before the final verification statement was issued.
The achievement confirms the component has met all the primary test requirements in the project material specification with satisfactory results.
Additive manufacturing – the industrial equivalent of 3D printing – is an emerging technology which uses 3D model data to fabricate parts and enable significant time savings.
AML3D chief executive officer Andrew Sales said wire arc additive manufacturing could create a productivity step change in shipbuilding, as it is able to create marine grade metal structures at a scale beyond other commercially-available metal 3D printing technologies.
“We are proud to have been able to partner with Keppel and demonstrate the advantages of our additive manufacturing capabilities in the creation of the world’s largest 3D printed Panama chock,” he said.
“This now offers a quality assurance pathway for a wide range of components that can follow a similar validation process.”