Mar. 5, 2015

3D metal printing uses fine metal powders to produce highly complex metal components. The powder's purities and how well it is ground result in different quality of 3D printed metal objects.

NanoSteel Company Inc., a corporation based in Province, Rhode Island, announced yesterday the expansion of the company's additive manufacturing material capabilities to 'support metal 3D printing of complex high hardness parts and the ability to customize properties layer-by-layer through gradient material design.'

Last year the company released new powders designed for additive manufacturing. By leveraging its uniform metal matrix microstructures in the laser-sintering process, the company was able to build a crack-free, fully dense bulk sample with hardness levels >1000 HV.

Building on this milestone, NanoSteel used a combination of high hardness and ductile alloys to create a part featuring a gradient design. They have been working with Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology to generate part samples using freeform direct laser deposition. This additive manufacturing process allows for a seamless transition between hard and ductile properties without having to use heat treatment.

These gradient materials designs offer impact resistance and overall robustness in addition to high hardness and wear resistance in a single part.

By providing this capability, NanoSteel offers manufacturers considerable design flexibility while still taking advantage of the operational efficiencies of 3D printing including on-demand availability, less inventory and lower transportation costs.

"Proprietary metal alloys that support the cost-effective 3D printing of high-quality parts will help accelerate the transition from subtractive to additive manufacturing across applications such as wear parts, bearings, and cutting tools," said Harald Lemke, NanoSteel's General Manager of Engineered Powders. "The company's AM powder offerings make it possible to design exclusively for the function of a high hardness part, releasing designers from the limitations of conventional production processes and opening new opportunities to improve performance."

NanoSteel is a privately held company funded by lead shareholders EnerTech and Fairhaven Capital. The company's targeted markets for its AM powder portfolio are tool & die, energy, auto, and agriculture.

Posted in 3D Printing Materials


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