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Keppel working on 3D-Printed Offshore Grade Steel

January 15, 2020

Illustration. Image by jean song / Adobe Stock
Illustration. Image by jean song / Adobe Stock

Singapore-based offshore rig builder Keppel O&M is working on a system that will enable it to 3D print offshore grade materials, to speed up production and lower cost. 

The company has teamed up with local university and research and technology institutes to develop Laser Aided Additive Manufacturing (LAAM) system to produce offshore grade steel. 

The joint effort by Keppel, NTU Singapore, A*Star, and SIMTech has this week received the Lloyd’s Register (LR) Certification. Lloyd's Register said Tuesday that the additive manufacturing (AM) technology would enable Keppel to print high-value components for offshore products with significantly faster production times and more economically. 

The LR certification conforms to the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) A131 requirements following an audit and successful mechanical testing. 

Aziz Merchant, Executive Director, Keppel Marine & Deepwater Technology, said: “This certification is the first step for us to produce high-value components essential to the offshore and marine structures. Additive manufacturing (AM) or 3D printing as it is more commonly known will speed up production times which in turn can help bring projects to completion much quicker.” 

“We are pleased to work with NTU and SIMTech since 2016 on developing AM technology, and the LR certification shows that the components we produce using this method are safe and fit for purpose – something that is paramount to our business.” 

Besides reducing project lead times, 3D printing can also alleviate resource constraints, reduce the carbon footprint associated with manufacturing and provide long-term cost savings. 

According to Lloyd's Register, NTU researchers conducted rigorous tests on over 50 specimens of 3D-printed offshore grade steel, checking them on their material yield, tensile, elongation, fatigue and toughness properties. Coupled with an optimized 3D printing process, the material properties of the steel were found to have high standards that exceeded ASTM requirements.

Hussain Quraishi, Senior Consultant in LR’s Singapore Advisory Centre, said: “It’s great to see how AM can bring such positive benefits, not only to the businesses we’re working with, but to their customers too. AM is a highly innovative technique that more and more companies are turning to in their drive to offer high-quality components for use in projects across a wide range of industries.” 

Categories: Technology Asia Rigs


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