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An Investigation Into the Feasibility of Producing a Copper-Nickel Alloy Utilizing Laser Powder Bed Fusion

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The utilization of additive manufacturing (AM) within the shipbuilding industry presents unique advantages when compared to traditional manufacturing methods (e.g., forgings and castings). A review of standard material offerings for laser powder bed fusion machines has identified an opportunity to explore new materials that are applicable to marine environments. Copper-nickel alloys are not a commonly used material within the AM industry; however, these materials are widely used within the shipbuilding industry due to their resistance to corrosion and potential biofouling resistance. As such, the ability to process marine alloys, specifically copper-nickel, will accelerate the broader adoption of this technology within shipbuilding.

This presentation will highlight a parameter development approach employed for copper-nickel alloy on a 3D Systems ProXTM DMP 320. The team’s investigations will review normalized results for the parameter design development, review initial material test results, provide comparisons of the AM material with conventional materials, and provide lessons learned while processing this alloy for use with a Laser Powder Bed Fusion AM process. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the normalized results for the parameter design development associated with a copper-nickel alloy.
  • Understand a variety of lessons learned employed while processing this alloy for use with a Laser Powder Bed Fusion AM process.
  • Provide comparisons of the AM material with conventional materials.
  • John W. Ralls PhD, PE
    Manger Principal Engineer III / Deputy Chief Engineer - Additive Manufacturing
    Newport News Shipbuilding
  • Jared Blecher PhD
    Principal Aerospace and Defense Engineer – Advanced R&D
    3D Systems