by Anniek Enserink, M2i
The first edition of the Grade2XL contest led to two prizes: the first place was won by Yarop Ali and the second one by Jan Reimann, both from the Technical University of Ilmenau. Yarop Ali proposed a mould with a lightweight support structure, cooling channels and adapted surface material, whereas Jan Reimann proposed a node structure with multimaterial structure, with an anticorrosion layer. The second design, of Jan Reimann, has already been manufactured by the engineers at Naval Group. Anniek Enserink (M2i) has interviewed Jan Reimann and Théo Petitgas from Naval Group about their collaboration.
How did you experience the Design contest?
Jan Reimann (TU Ilmenau – photo left): In general, applying to the design contest was a very fast process, I found it very easy. I also enjoyed the award ceremony, even though it was on-line. If circumstances had allowed, it would have been great to be there in person.
What happened after the contest? How was the first contact established?
JR: This was already a while back, we first maintained contact via email. There was one online meeting to discuss the adjustments for compatibility with the WAAM process and make a final design. The engineers at Naval suggested some changes and we discussed them (all via email), eventually coming to a final design. We started this process in February/March 2021, and finalised the design before the end of March.
How did the collaboration go? Did you follow strictly the design or did you have to make adjustments?
Théo Petitgas (Naval Group – photo right): Unfortunately Jan could not come to visit Naval, due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions at the time. We communicated by email and agreed on the adjustments to make, which were relatively minor: we modified some points, moved the support and changed some design details. We also modified the thickness of the construct, to make it compatible with the requirements of the WAAM printing process. We kept the corrosion patch, but we could not deposit it all over the piece, because of the accessibility constraints (due to the clamps, the tooling and the size of the torch).
How long did the entire process take?
TP: The deposition alone took about two days, but the overall process took four days in total: because of the relatively small size of the piece, it took more time to achieve a low interpass temperature. After the piece was printed, it was polished by a contractor.
As you know, the Grade2XL Design contest takes place every year in December. To whom would you recommend the Design contest?
JR: To other students and researchers. It is really easy to apply, does not take a lot of time and the prize is very nice.
TP: To colleagues working as welding engineers, and to students from technical schools or universities.
The winning design of the 1st place candidate Yarop Ali is being produced at RAMLAB. An interview with the winner of the first place Yarop Ali, will be published later in October 2021.