Complex high hardness parts, tools and prototypes

Powder Bed Fusion

Laser Powder Bed Fusion is one of the premier metal 3D printing technologies. It features density levels over 99% and among the highest available feature resolution in metals.

The major drawback to using this technology for many applications has been a lack of hard metals that are printable without cracking. Formetrix has solved this challenge with a new class of easily printable steel powders that combine high hardness and toughness. The first material available is BLDRmetal® L-40, which can create parts featuring surface hardness of 70 HRC, high ductility with over 10% elongation and room temperature printability.

Binder Jet

Binder Jetting is an additive manufacturing powder bed process, where a binder is used to selectively print the desired part shape by adhesively joining the metal particles. After the jetting process, the green part is sintered and an infiltrant, bronze, is melted and drawn into the part to create a dense component.

Parts made with bronze infiltrated BLDRmetal® J-10 have 3x the wear resistance, >10x the corrosion resistance and nearly 3x the impact toughness of a bronze infiltrated 420 stainless steel component made using the same method. If even higher wear resistance is required, BLDRmetal® J-11 can be selected to deliver 10x the wear of a bronze infiltrated 420SS component. Some applications benefit from properties that are between J-10 & J-11, by tailoring the proportions of the two powders the final product can be designed to meet a variety of specifications.

Industrial applications for these wear powders include molds, dies, tools and drilling and pump components.

Direct Laser Deposition (DLD)

In DLD, parts are built by fusing together metal powders with a laser. The metal powders are injected by a nozzle directly into the melt pool created by the laser. This process uses larger powders, and so is faster but has lower feature resolution. DLD also lends itself to building parts with gradient properties, as more than one powder feedstock material can be used throughout the build.

DLD is currently in pre–launch stage

Image courtesy of Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology

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