Dec 28, 2017 | By Tess

Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) announced it has been granted a patent for its “Additive Manufacturing Using Metals from the Gaseous State” process. The Pennsylvania-based technology research firm says the innovative 3D printing concept could enable the manufacturing of thin-walled metal parts and could help advance the field of metal AM.

A CTC research team consisting of scientist Joe Pickens and adviser engineers Juan Valencia and Mike Tims was responsible for developing the now patented additive manufacturing process which uses metals in a gaseous state to produce complex and thin-walled 3D parts.

According to the team, the additive manufacturing process is based on an already established method of extracting metals from ore called the Mond process. The latter, invented in 1890 by Ludwig Mond, consists of using carbon monoxide to convert nickel oxides into pure nickel.

In CTC’s 3D printing technique, the Mond concept is adapted by using carbon monoxide gas with up to 18 different metal types. When the gas and metal react under high temperatures, CTC explains, a complex gas is formed, which allows for the metal to be deposited on a high temperature substrate, effectively creating the thin shell of the printed part.

“This action frees up the carbon monoxide for reuse in reacting with additional metallic atoms and continuing the additive process,” adds the company.

CTC’s 3D printing process, which is now protected under the United States Patent 9,587,309 B1, is reportedly ideal for producing complexly shaped and seamless metal parts with thin-walls, which are difficult to achieve using other types of additive manufacturing processes. CTC hopes its method will help to complement and fill a gap in the metal AM market.

CTC President and CEO Edward J. Sheehan with advisor engineers Mike Tims and Juan Valencia

“This is a different approach for additive manufacturing,” commented Edward J. Sheehan, Jr., Concurrent Technologies Corporation President and CEO. “Our engineers creatively applied a basic metallurgical theory for the manufacture of a real part. Their work illustrates the innovative solutions that CTC’s engineers, scientists, and other professionals create to help our clients achieve their goals.”

Though no specific applications for the innovative metal 3D printing process have been disclosed and the technology is still in its early stages, CTC’s Mond-inspired concept certainly sounds intriguing. We’ll be keeping a close eye on any signs of commercialization for its “Additive Manufacturing Using Metals from the Gaseous State” process, as it sounds like it could be a potential game-changer.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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