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HRE Wheels, GE Additive build 3D-printed titanium wheel via electron beam melting

November 16, 2018
Source: ASM International

HRE Wheels, Vista Calif., and GE Additive, Cincinnati, Ohio, announced a partnership agreement and showed the first titanium wheel built via electron-beam melting of titanium powder. Known as “HRE3D+”, this new prototype wheel shows how advanced materials such as titanium can be harnessed to create complex designs.


The goal of the “HRE3D+” project was to test the capabilities of additive manufacturing in a practical application and to create a highly-sophisticated wheel design. With a traditional aluminum Monoblok wheel, 80% of material is removed from a 100-pound forged block of aluminum to create the final product. With additive manufacturing, only 5% of the titanium is removed and recycled, making the process far more efficient. Titanium also has a much higher specific strength than aluminum and is corrosion resistant, allowing it to be extremely lightweight and to be shown in its raw finish.


The wheel was produced on two Arcam EBM machines - Q20 and a Q10 in five separate sections, then combined using a custom center section and titanium fasteners.


"This is an incredibly exciting and important project for us as we get a glimpse into what the future of wheel design holds,” said HRE President Alan Peltier. “Working with GE Additive’s AddWorks team gave us access to the latest additive technology and an amazing team of engineers, allowing us to push the boundaries of wheel design beyond anything possible with current methods. To HRE, this partnership with GE Additive moves us into the future.”


“HRE prides itself on its commitment to excellence and superior quality in the marketplace. It was a natural fit for AddWorks to work on this project with them and really revolutionize the way wheels can be designed and manufactured,” said Robert Hanet, senior design engineer, GE Additive AddWorks.


Subject Classifications

Industries and Applications | Aerospace and Defense

Industries and Applications | Automobiles and Ground Transportation

Industries and Applications | Medical Devices

Materials Processing and Treatment | Additive Manufacturing

Materials Processing and Treatment | Powder Metallurgy

Materials Processing and Treatment | Thermal Spray Technology

Metals and Alloys | Aluminum

Metals and Alloys | Titanium

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