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New Metal Powders for Additive Manufacturing Including Co-Free Maraging Steels & Copper Alloys for Space Technology

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Metal powders, manufactured by gas atomization, provide sustainable, consistent quality & high-performance raw materials for many of the different additive manufacturing processes. Powder production based on melting processing that include high-volume induction melting, vacuum melting, directly integrated with gas atomization and refractory free electrode melting prior to gas atomization. Advanced material properties for each of the material families are highlighted, including titanium (Ti64) alloy with enhanced mechanical consistency developed by heat treatment & Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) and aerospace grades like Ti6242, which operate at higher temperatures. Cobalt alloys suitable for the production of dental prosthetic components, including partial removable dentures, copings, crowns & bridges and patient specific implant designs for orthopedic & maxillofacial reconstruction. Stainless steel alloy powders suitable for medical devices, surgical guides & tools.

Maraging steels including ultra-high hardness grades (MAR-60) that benefit from in-situ heat treatment when deposited by Direct Energy Deposition (DED). Cobalt free maraging steels with equivalent performance to established materials (18Ni300/M300), in terms of hardness for mold tooling applications. And the superior corrosion resistance of Super Duplex 2507 stainless steel, printed by Laser- Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF), compared to that of wrought material. Sinter based technology, such as green machining, metal based Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) / Filament Deposition Modelling (FDM) and binder jetting require a balance of fine powder, typically less than 32 microns, while maintaining a degree of bulk flow. Required to provide a consistent layer thickness and bed density, which ultimately translates into high green & sintered part density. Finally, new metal powder product developments are presented that include extending the range of copper alloys for L-PBF that include grades relevant to space technology, specifically rocket nozzle applications, based on Cu-Cr-Zr & Cu-Cr- Nb, specifically GRcop42 developed by NASA.

Learning Objectives:

  • Upon completion, participants will be able to understand & apply the wide-range of alloys for all the different Additive Manufacturing (AM) processes, in terms of alloy grades and powder size.
  • Upon completion, participants will be able to compare material performance of AM materials compared to conventionally produced materials and review the standards developed for AM for a range of applications.
  • Upon completion, participants will be able to build a clear understanding of the advantages of AM in terms of cost, design & material selection to develop their own sustainable applications.