Seeing the Big Picture

Seeing the Big Picture

Hieta Logo Final 230K

With the potential to change the paradigm for manufacturing, we take a look at HiETA Technologies, experts in the revolutionary area of Additive Manufacturing (AM).

Tell us about HiETA and what they do?

HiETA Technologies Limited is a product design, development and production company exploiting the new technology of Additive Manufacturing (AM). Using Selective Laser Melting we “grow” components from layers of very fine powders. The high levels of three dimensional design freedom provided by the approach allows us to deploy complex geometries, for weight reduction, thermal performance and increased functionalities, and to integrate multiple components into single designs.

What makes HiETA different is the fusion of design expertise to AM process expertise; which by simultaneously pushing the limits in design and the AM process, allows us to realise more compact and efficient components than is otherwise possible with conventional manufacturing techniques.

Based in Bristol and Bath Science Park, HiETA is pioneering the use of high performance, metals, polymers and composite materials. There, in our new Technology Centre, our team of approximately twenty highly experienced and qualified engineers design, test, prototype and manufacture innovative high performance components.

What challenges is HiETA addressing for organisations?

Our designs for thermal management and weight reduction meet the increasing demand for smaller, lighter and more efficient engines, energy systems and structures delivered faster.

Hieta OfficeWho are the organisations you work with?

HiETA’s customers are leading organisations in aerospace, defence, clean energy, automotive and motorsport. HiETA has a solid base of unique research and technology activity and its partners include Barden Corporation UK , Bloodhound Programme, City University, CRDM, Delcam, Delta Motorsport, EOS Electro Optical Systems, Equipmake, Magna Parva, Oxford Brookes Enterprises, Productiv, Renishaw PLC, Simpleware, Sysemia, The Logistics Business, University of Bath and the University of Exeter.

What is HiETA hoping to achieve in the future?

HiETA in collaboration with its partners, is working hard to industrialise AM technologies to the point that they become economically viable for part volumes in the tens of thousands. This is being achieved by the application of an integrated value chain approach where all contributing elements are optimised to maximise productivity. For example this has included iterated developments in data handling, AM machine software, component design and AM hardware. Since we started component costs have already been reduced by an order of magnitude and we are confident that we will reduce costs by another order of magnitude in the near future.

What accomplishments is HiETA most proud of?

Since our journey began in 2012, we have demonstrated our expertise in a number of application areas. One example is our work with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), where for one project we addressed a challenge to develop a suppression technology for a helicopter platform to improve the efficiency whilst minimising the weight penalty. The solution was an upswept concept with an integrated cooling passage containing an optimised lattice design. The concept and detailed design was refined using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to optimise the architecture, and was supported by mechanical testing of the lattice structures. Finally, a scaled suppressor was manufactured and tested on an engine platform with the surface temperatures measured along with distortion under pressure and thermal loads. The concept was validated, with the surface temperature within line of sight being 200°C lower than the pipework upstream.

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