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From custom powders to 3D printed metal part | Application note

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From custom powders to 3D printed metal part

Developing new alloys specifically tailored for additive manufacturing (AM) is crucial to unlocking the full potential of this innovative manufacturing technique. While legacy alloys, developed primarily for traditional manufacturing processes such as casting or forging, can be used in additive manufacturing, they may not fully leverage the unique capabilities and process conditions inherent to AM. Here’s why the development of new alloys is so important for additive manufacturing.

1. Optimized Material Properties

Additive manufacturing processes, such as laser sintering or electron beam melting, involve rapid melting and solidification. By designing new alloys for these specific conditions we can optimize material properties like strength, ductility, and fatigue resistance, which might not be fully achievable with legacy alloys. Thanks to rapid cooling new steels can be developed to locally optimized the mechanical properties by proper phase distribution by in-situ laser heat treatment. Check our development in the NEWAIMS project concerning development of new steels for AM.

2. Suppresion of defect formation

Developing new alloys for additive manufacturing (AM) includes tailoring the chemical composition to address solidification challenges caused by high cooling rates, such as solidification cracking, ductility-dip cracking, and liquation cracking. Such alloy development can be noticed especially in nickel-based superalloys and aluminum alloys. These defects occur due to rapid solidification that does not accommodate thermal contraction or leads to the formation of low-melting phases. By adjusting the alloy’s chemical it is possible to reduce segregation, narrowing the solidification range, and enhancing grain boundary strength. Thanks to that materials can be made more resistant to these forms of cracking, especially with the usage of proper scanning strategy. Check our paper ultrasonic atomization of bulk metallic glass and its manufacturing using patented scanning strategy:

3. Complex Geometries and Microstructures

AM enables the creation of complex geometries and internal structures that are difficult or impossible to achieve with traditional methods. New alloys can be formulated to take advantage of these capabilities, leading to components with part specific tailored microstructures and mechanical properties that meet application requirements. Changing the chemical composition can influence residual stress formation which offen limit the geometry of AM parts. Additionally, new alloys can be used to promote texture formation or produce complex geometries of brittle materials, like TiAl intermetallic which is hard to machine due to it ambient temperature brittleness.

4. Material Innovation

The exploration of new alloy compositions can lead to the discovery of materials with novel properties, expanding the range of applications for additive manufacturing. For instance, high-temperature alloys for aerospace applications or corrosion-resistant materials for marine environments can be developed. Additive manufacturing (AM) offers the innovative capability to produce metal matrix composites (MMCs) through the use of core-shell particles, composite powders, or blends of different powders. MMCs combine a metal matrix with a reinforcement material (such as ceramics partices or whiskers) to create composites that leverage the best properties of both materials—such as increased strength, stiffness, and thermal stability, while maintaining the ductility and toughness of the metal matrix.

5. Economic and Environmental Benefits

Tailoring alloys for AM can also lead to economic benefits by reducing material waste during atomization, lowering energy consumption, and reduce the material costs, while offering similar performance. Environmentally, this contributes to more sustainable manufacturing practices by minimizing the carbon footprint and resource depletion.

Conclusion

While legacy alloys offer a starting point for additive manufacturing, the development of new alloys is essential to fully exploit the unique opportunities provided by AM. Custom-designed materials not only enhance the performance and efficiency of the manufacturing process but also drive innovation, opening up new possibilities for advanced applications across various industries. If you are looking for a solution to develop new materials in form of powder for additive manufacturing check our rePOWDER platform for ultrasonic atomization.

Are you looking for a solution to develop new materials in form of powder for additive manufacturing?

EXPERTS READY TO HELP ​

Picture of <b>JAKUB CIFTCI</b>

JAKUB CIFTCI

APPLICATION ENGINEER

I am an application engineer focused on laser powder bed fusion development with alloys obtained via ultrasonic atomization. My role is to use knowledge gained from my PhD studies at Warsaw University of Technology to help other researchers in their projects with AMAZEMET solutions. Always ready for new challenges for concerning hard-to-print high temperature alloys and their atomization via rePOWDER.

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Metal Additive Manufacturing / 3D Printing 101
Additive Manufacturing is a process of creating objects by adding material layer by layer, in contrast to traditional subtractive methods that remove material from a solid block. Metal Additive Manufacturing specifically involves the use of hard-to-machine metals to produce parts and components using bottom-up approach. This method allows for greater design flexibility, material efficiency, and the production of complex geometries that would be impossible or extremely difficult with conventional manufacturing techniques.
Metal Additive Manufacturing / 3D Printing 101
Additive Manufacturing is a process of creating objects by adding material layer by layer, in contrast to traditional subtractive methods that remove material from a solid block. Metal Additive Manufacturing specifically involves the use of hard-to-machine metals to produce parts and components using bottom-up approach. This method allows for greater design flexibility, material efficiency, and the production of complex geometries that would be impossible or extremely difficult with conventional manufacturing techniques.

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