Plenary Sessions

August 17, 2021

Panel Discussion: Clash of the Materials Technologies

Advance casting, wire fed AM and powder fed AM share the similarity of melting and solidification of complex metal alloys, they share fundamental differences in how each process controls these phase changes. During this panel, Drs. Campbell, Wanjara and Brochu will champion their respective technologies, outlining the advantages/disadvantages and their optimal applications. Each speaker will speculate on the future of advanced casting and AM in the manufacturing landscape.

John Campbell

University of Birmingham, UK.

The observation by Xinjin Cao of the formation of intermetallic phases on the outer, wetted interfaces of oxide bifilms has led to major breakthroughs in the understanding of a number of metallurgical mysteries.  The new understanding included the apparent brittleness of beta-Fe particles and Si phases in Al-Si alloys, and the mechanism for the dramatic change of structure from ‘unmodified’ primary Si to ‘modified’ fine eutectic Si by additions of Na or Sr. The great loss of ductility following turbulent handling of liquid Al alloys is also explained, as is the ease of nucleation of gas or shrinkage porosity in castings.  The unsatisfactory nature of vacuum melting and casting of many metals, including steels, is also explained for the first time, and the extreme dangers from the unreliability of vacuum arc remelted steel is uncovered.  Following Cao’s confirmation of the existence and importance of the bifilm defect created during casting, the prospect of reliable metals, metals we can trust, is for the first time a reality.

Born and raised in the UK, he first trained in physics, then metallurgy, but got into developing casting processes and making castings for a living, apart from a 15 year diversion to become Professor of Casting Technology at Birmingham University, UK.

During this time, Xinjin Cao was one of my post-grad researchers, studying the nature of turbulence and the generation of casting defects. The new concepts clarified for the first time during these years included entrainment, the double nature of oxide films causing them to act as cracks (bifilms), and the development of casting techniques to avoid bifilm formation.

His books include “Complete Casting Handbook 2nd Edn”. The equivalent “Mini Casting Handbook” is distilled down, containing only information to help get castings right.

His latest book “The Mechanisms of Metallurgical Failure – The Origin of Fracture” outlines the possible elimination of failure mechanisms such as cracking, creep, fatigue, stress corrosion cracking and hydrogen embrittlement in steels and other alloys by eliminating turbulent pouring of the liquid metal, and thus avoiding bifilm creation. These developments promise a revolution in metallurgy and engineering. We shall be able to produce metals which will not fail; metals we can trust.

Priti Wanjara

National Research Council Canada

Standing on the precipice of a technological revolution in the manufacturing industry, smart factories are poised to enable low-cost, on-demand and high efficiency production with the aid of disruptive innovations in the internet of things (IoT), condition sensing/monitoring combined with artificial intelligence, and metal additive manufacturing processes. Presently, the status-quo in research for metal additive manufacturing is centered on the fabrication of small parts with topology optimization performed for weight savings and performance using mainly laser powder-bed 3D printing technology. For production and repair of large parts, such as those that are likely to be used in aircraft engines, air frame structures or other large mechanical systems, the processing approach entails migrating to higher deposition rate 3D printing. In this regard, wire-fed electron beam additive manufacturing (EBAM) is gaining momentum as an enabling technology for the fabrication and repair of near net shape metallic parts through a rapid layer-by-layer deposition process. Specific advantages of the EBAM process are the relatively large build envelop – that becomes infinite for in-space production – combined with the near 100% material efficiency of the wire-feed into the melt pool and high bulk material deposition rates of 200-600 mm3/s depending on feature size and material. Post-deposition machining for finishing to the final geometry has indicated similar cutting forces and tool wear characteristics to conventional wrought metals, thus allowing ease of integration into existing factory environments. Work over the past 15 years on the EBAM process at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) through its Aerospace Manufacturing Technology Center has strived to address the different underlying challenges presently facing the global scientific and research communities for introducing, producing and qualifying materials and structures fabricated through a hybrid additive-subtractive approach, as compared to a conventional subtractive methodology. This keynote overviews the technological developments to advance EBAM and covers the material characteristics (e.g. microstructure, residual stresses, distortion) and their linkages to mechanical performance under static tensile, cyclic fatigue and high cycle vibratory fatigue loading. The role of microstructural features on failure mechanisms will also be discussed based on fractographic and crack path analysis after tensile and fatigue testing.

Dr. Priti Wanjara is Principal Research Officer at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). She earned her B. Eng (1993) and Ph.D. (1999) degrees from McGill University in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering. Her research has focused on manufacturing process development for metallic materials to the benefit of the scientific community and operations of industrial partners in the aerospace, defence, automotive and energy sectors. Recognized internationally as a leading material scientist, she has co-authored over 200 refereed articles and 100 NRC reports. She is Fellow of ASM International, Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Canadian Welding Bureau.

Mathieu Brochu

McGill University

Metallic powders are one of the key starting materials for additive manufacturing. Powders can be produced using a wide variety of extrinsic (powder morphology, including particle size distribution and shape) and intrinsic (influence of the powder composition and microstructure) properties. The interactions between these characteristics are having a significant influence on the processability of these powders, either during laser powder bed fusion, electron beam melting and binder jet. The sensitivity between these interactions and the processing also varies from one metallic system to another. This presentation will highlight the knowledge acquired on powder behavior, characterisation and its influence over processability acquired over the last 10 year.

Prof. Brochu is the Gerald Hatch Faculty Fellow on Additive Manufacturing and Director of the Powder Processing and Additive Manufacturing of Advanced Materials Laboratory (P2[AM]2) at McGill. He is also the co-Director of the Holistic Innovation on Additive Manufacturing NSERC Network and the co-Director of the Canadian Network on Additive Manufacturing. Previously, he was Canada Research Chair in Pulse Processing of Nanostructured Materials and Hydro-Quebec Nano-Engineering Scholar. He is leading research projects in three main fields: (1) AM and joining of advanced materials, (2) metallic powder tailoring and (3) high heating rate sintering processes, where he worked out protocols for all Al series (from 1XXX to 7XXX), and some key superalloys and Ti alloys.

Schedule (all times are EDT):

10:30 Conference Welcome Message S. Corbin
Bifilm Revolution: Our First Glimpse ; Audience Questions for J. Campbell John Campbell
Is powder characterization important for additive manufacturing processing? Audience Questions for M. Brochu Mathieu Brochu
Overview of the Research and Development on Wire-Fed Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing in Aerospace- Audience Questions for P. Wanjara Priti Wanjara
12:00-12:30 Panel Discussion

August 18, 2021

Plenary Session: Digital Transformation in Mining and Metallurgical Industrial Complexes

Osvaldo Bascur

Principal Digital Transformation, OSB Digital, LLC., USA Consultant fellow, Seeq Advanced Analytics, USA

Ores are becoming extremely variable with mineralogy, hardness disturbing the grinding, and flotation circuits. The current grinding and flotation sensors provide large amounts of data for process optimization. Adding the right context and operational events enables to augment to operational knowledge for proactive actions for improving the performance of the grinding and flotation circuits.

By measuring, managing these unproductive times, people find new ways of avoiding them improving the profitability of the plant. The inFORMAtion created by the real time analytics enables to calculate Recovery in real time and to develop predictive analytics models to find the best operating condition based on the type of ore currently mined. The creation of new workflows and collaboration between mining and concentrator plant and the enterprise including services providers are enabled.

Machine Learning pervades our culture in a multitude of ways, through tools and practices from medical diagnosis and data management to speech synthesis and search engines. A novel approach of using machine learning techniques coupled with dynamic process models in grinding Dynamill and Dynaflote a new operation integrated grinding model is achievable and implemented.

These days of remote operations having the capability to integrate mining operations from the drilling to the product delivery is a blessing. People can work from the houses supporting the operations and staying safe and healthy with the families. Mines are in remote difficult to get places. SMEs today can increase the productivity by developing predictive models to classify the operating conditions due to large variations in their ores and catch the hidden production, energy and water losses by equipment, type of ore, support and unmeasured disturbances. People are calling this strategy Follow the Money strategy to be able to survive and to adapt to these unforeseen forcing factors affecting the communities and support (Plourde, 2017).

We will present the application of a Digital Plant Twin to Mining, Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgical Process.

Dr. Osvaldo A. Bascur is a Chemical Engineer and Metallurgical Engineer at the University of Concepción. PhD in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah. Worked with Duval Corporation with Process Control Engineer; He was Manager of the Continuous Improvement Group (now Freeport McMoRan) in Tucson, Arizona and then as Director of the Process Control and Optimization Group for Pennzoil in Houston Texas. He currently works at OSB Digital, LLC as Principal advising clients on their Digital Transformation in Industrial Complexes. He is Consultant fellow for Seeq Advanced Analytics which take the real time series data to build predictive analytics models. The key is to avoid trespassing operational and equipment constraints depending on the mineral ore types and enabling to maximize the metal recoveries. Recently, he has designed a template for the Digital Transformation of Process Plants. This template transforms data into Information for use by people, systems and enables the modeling of industrial processes. It facilitates the use of new predictive modeling and artificial intelligence tools. He developed a Blue Print for the integration of operational data for the optimization of industrial plants. In 2013, he received the most prestigious Antoine Gaudin Award from the Society of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, Dr. Bascur has published more than 95 technical works, two books and several chapters of engineering books were published. In addition, Dr. Bascur is a member of the following engineering companies: SME, AIST, AIChE, IFAC MMM and IMPC.