This brief case study looks at how composites product development can be accelerated with rapid in-house 3D printing to deliver a product ready for the customer to use in harsh corrosive mining applications.
ACS Australia designed and manufactured a modular feeder tube assembly, which is used to feed inspection equipment into drilled holes in mines. The nylon material was selected for toughness and strength at the temperatures in underground mines. The tubes feature inspection windows integrated on the sides, with reinforced edges, to increase the stiffness of the cross-section. The end nozzle assembly is mounted on top of an eight-metre-long carbon fibre composite tubular assembly. This modular assembly helps operators to progressively feed through a gyroscope, increasing the length of the overall assembly, and to perform analysis of mine shafts with varying lengths.
Additive Manufacturing (AM) enabled ACS Australia to rapidly develop and manufacture these individual parts. AM complements composites production, while also leveraging automation to reduce time to market.
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