May 11, 2021

Continuous Composites and Siemens Energy Develop High Performance Materials for Power Generators

Siemens Energy power generator on white background

Continuous Fiber 3D Printing (CF3D®) enables new designs for Additive Manufacturing (AM) with composites and exceeds material requirements for generator components

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Continuous Fiber 3D Printing (CF3D®) enables new designs for Additive Manufacturing (AM) with composites and exceeds material requirements for generator components

Continuous Composites, a disruptive composites additive manufacturer, and Siemens Energy (FRA: ENR), one of the world’s leading energy technology companies, today announced the successful demonstration of Continuous Fiber 3D Printing (CF3D®) technology for Siemens Energy’s generator components. Through this multi-year collaboration, the companies developed a thermoset Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) material, introducing better mechanical performance at higher temperatures, topology optimized designs, and dynamic fiber steering to orient anisotropic fibers in the load direction for customized applications.

Continuous Composites and their materials partner, Arkema (OTCMKTS: ARKAY), through its Sartomer Business, jointly developed a high temperature CF3D® thermoset polymer, enabling the printing of large complex parts that would not be manufacturable using traditional composite techniques. The material achieves a glass transition temperature (Tg) of 227°C and experiences minimal strength loss at temperatures above the Tg. The CF3D® printed composites demonstrated Fiber Volume Fractions (FVF) greater than 50% with less than 1.5% void content.

Several generator components are currently manufactured using a metal casting process which is expensive and has long lead times. The development of these new materials paired with the CF3D® process exceeds the material temperature requirements of generators and other Siemens Energy applications. The result of this demonstration in the Energy sector includes a 5x reduction of manufacturing costs and decreased lead time from 8-10 months down to 3 weeks. There is $1M in long-term downtime energy savings and a significant reduction in part weight and material waste.

“The superior mechanical performance of CF3D®, combined with the significant cost and lead time reduction, led to our selection of Continuous Composites,” said Dr. Joel Alfano, Principal Technology Development Engineer at Siemens Energy. “The opportunity to replace a metallic generator component with composite materials leveraging AM is a powerful breakthrough for solving the constraints we face in the Energy industry, and CF3D® technology is making it possible.”
“The deployment of CF3D® for manufacturing generator components is one example where our technology is disrupting current manufacturing processes and replacing metallic parts with high-performance composite materials,” says Tyler Alvarado, CEO of Continuous Composites. “Our collaboration with Siemens Energy demonstrates our ability to develop and customize material solutions with stringent mechanical property requirements which go well beyond the Energy sector.”
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