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Tolectro investigates additive manufacturing of copper parts

​Precision mechanical parts and sheet metal company Tolectro turned to the CEA for support diversifying its service lineup into additive manufacturing for the complex-parts market.

Published on 18 January 2022

​Copper alloys offer excellent thermal, electrical, and mechanical properties—exactly what SME Tolectro was looking for to support its development on the mobility and energy markets. The company worked with additive manufacturing experts at CEA to assess whether copper alloys were compatible with additive manufacturing techniques.

Over the eighteen months of the project, the partners were able to select the best powders and determine the optimal parameters for forming the alloys by laser fusion to obtain industrial parts with the required mechanical properties and geometries. The samples produced were defect-free, with densities of more than 99%. CEA researchers characterized the parts obtained to better understand their geometries and mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties and provide Tolectro with recommendations for integrating these kinds of parts into its catalog.

Tolectro should be able to produce complex parts with fewer manufacturing and assembly steps, saving both material and time. The company will still have to find technical, financial, and commercial partners to develop its complex copper alloy parts business.

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