To enable production of the First Wall Beam in the ITER fusion reactor; we attempt to join EBM-built blocks of 316L, by Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP).
For highly critical components, EBM-built material is usually HIPed anyway to heal defects such as pores and cracks. Using HIP to simultaneously bond several print-jobs together into a larger component saves time and reduces manufacturing complexity.
We found by carrying out this research, that fine surface roughness is an important enabler for a complete bond. The raw printed surfaces that are obtained straight from the Arcam machine (Ra = 19.2 μm) do not enable a good bond. Instead, traditional machining, which in this paper reached Ra = 2.0 μm, enabled a good bond. HIP parameters are also important. The best bond in this study was achieved after increasing holding time from 1 h to 2 h.