“ We’re a full-service provider offering everything as a sort of one-stop-shop versus just making parts and sending the items out the door”
CTC focuses on three metal AM processes—Laser Powder Bed Fusion, Hybrid Additive Manufacturing, and High-Pressure Cold Spray. To help clients create customized, high-quality metal parts, CTC is equipped with the SLM 280HL 3D printer. The SLM 280HL is an all-in-one selective laser melting machine with a build envelope of 280 x 280 x 350 mm and is capable of creating metal parts of various alloys of aluminum, titanium, stainless steel, cobalt-chromium, and others. In addition, the equipment is utilized for prototyping and small-scale production runs. For Hybrid Additive Manufacturing, CTC uses a patented series of deposition heads and the associated docking station called ‘AMBIT multi-task system’ developed by Hybrid Manufacturing Technologies. It utilizes a combination of a laser as the energy source and deposited metal powder to build up material onto the desired substrate. This helps CTC experts to employ a cladding process to build new geometry before switching to a milling operation to finish the part. In a single setup, cladding, machining, and inspection can be automated with this equipment. CTC offers either the Hybrid system or a High-Pressure Cold Spray system as a cost-effective means for application of metal alloys and blends to create new parts or repair damaged or worn military aircraft, vehicle, and submarine components and surfaces.
Frankly, our design allowed the client to repair pipes that were not repairable by any means like that in the past
What differentiates CTC from other companies in the market is the company’s in-depth expertise in the field of metallurgy and three decades of experience in bringing technical success to the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Navy Metalworking Center (NMC), and the Navy Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Program. The company provides all of its AM solutions in-house and also offers services to evaluate, validate, and qualify any metal part through mechanical and physical property characterization in its laboratory and high-bay demonstration space. To illustrate the effectiveness of CTC’s solutions, Michael Tims, Advisor Engineer, cites a case study, where the company was tasked with redesigning a system used for weld repair of large-diameter pipes on Navy vessels. In the original design, components before and after the region to be weld repaired were too large and physically could not fit through the elbows. CTC redesigned the system from the ground up as an additive part that was far narrower in width, allowing it to fit around the elbows. “Frankly, our design allowed the client to repair pipes that were not repairable by any means like that in the past,” proclaims Tims.
While AM had been a complement to conventional manufacturing processes, primarily utilized for low-volume part production, AM is now increasingly becoming a critical part of the production process. This is attributed to advancements in the field, such as high building speeds, enhanced reliability for quality, and increased precision in a great variety of applications. In the future, together with its strategic partners, CTC aims to continue leveraging the latest research, development, test, and evaluation in the field of AM to provide transformative and full lifecycle solutions. “We work with our customers throughout the entire process; from the beginning stages of design all the way to the end product,” concludes Sabo.