Rosatom launches Russian additive manufacturing

24 December 2020

Rusatom - Additive Technologies (RusAT) has opened its first Additive Technologies Centre (ATC) as the only such facility in Russia using domestic equipment. Located at the site of the Moscow Polymetal Plant, the ATC will mainly test additive manufacturing technologies and demonstrate their capabilities for industrial enterprises.

TVEL President Natalia Nikipelova and RusAT Director General Mikhail Turundaev at the official opening of the ATC (Image: TVEL)

RusAT plans to launch full production of additive manufacturing equipment by the end of 2021 and expects to have a turnover of RUB300 million (USD3 million) from this business by 2030, the company's director general, Mikhail Turundaev, said.

RusAT is a subsidiary of Russian nuclear fuel manufacturer TVEL, which is itself a subsidiary of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom.

TVEL said the ATC in Moscow combines development, engineering and manufacturing, which means RusAT will be able to check designs and technological solutions "immediately after equipment launch and make adjustments promptly".

The ATC is equipped with 3D printers of Rosatom’s own design and production, such as Rusmelt 300M, Rusmelt 600M and Rusmelt 600RM for printing with metal powders using selective laser melting technology (SLM). These printers run on Russian software and have parameters and characteristics that meet international standards, TVEL said. In addition, the Rusmelt 600M printer has a 600x600 mm construction area, which allows the printing of products with dimensions for SLM-technology.

The ATC will later house complex machines for 3D printing with metal powders and photopolymers using selective laser sintering and stereolithography. The range of testing and auxiliary equipment will also be expanded.

"Opening of the first Additive Technologies Centre underlines the role of Rosatom in creating a new technological paradigm in our country," Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachov said in the TVEL statement.

"This is an extraordinary milestone not just for the nuclear industry, but on a national scale as well. There is a lot of work ahead to create a whole network of such centres, primarily in the cities and regions of Rosatom enterprises operation."

The next ATC will be established in Novouralsk at NPO Centrotech, another TVEL subsidiary, which manufactured the 3D-printers for the ATC in Moscow.

"By introducing additive technologies in our own business, we are setting an example for other industries," TVEL President Natalia Nikipelova said. "In fact, we are creating another new industry in Russia with its own centres, expertise, staff and affiliated universities."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News