Direct benefits to customer:
- Mass reduction of 79%
- Single piece construction, fewer opportunities for defects
- Rapid design and development iterations
- Compatibility with existing design
- Improved flow efficiency of up to 60%
Traditionally, hydraulic block manifolds are manufactured from an aluminium alloy or stainless steel billet which has been cut and machined to size, followed by drilling to create the flow pathways. Specialised tooling is often needed due to the complex drilling that is required. Passages require blanking plugs to properly direct flow through the system.
The nature of the manufacturing process results in abrupt angled junctions between flow paths which can cause flow separation and/or stagnation – a major contributor to efficiency loss.
Additive manufacturing allows a higher level of design freedom, so the component geometry could be adapted for AM to reduce material mass and improved functionality, within the same space.