Exone end to end binder jetting service

Niobium Based Alloy, C-103, Commonly Used for Aerospace Applications, is Successfully 3D Printed With, by MTI

INTAMSYS industrial 3d printing

Share this Article

Space travel and 3D printing are two technologies, which up until a couple of years ago, were rarely ever mentioned in the same sentence. Now it seems that NASA as well as SpaceX are all over the new method of digital mti-1fabrication, called 3D printing/additive manufacturing. Whether it’s NASA who is taking the first 3D printer to Space later this year, or Elon Musk’s SpaceX who is using an additive manufacturing process to fabricate several crucial parts of their new engine thrusters, 3D printing is now a major player within current and future space missions.

As both public and private research expands into the uses of additive manufacturing in space, one of the main objectives will be to find and produce new metal-alloy materials which are capable of withstanding the harsh environments outside the Earth’s friendly atmosphere, while also remaining cost effective and light-weight. Both NASA and SpaceX have already shown us how they have cut down on the weight of certain components by utilizing materials such as inconel, a nickel-copper superalloy, as well as titanium. As we move forward into further applications of 3D printing within the aerospace industry, new materials will begin to be adapted to function in a powder form, with laser sintering machines. This is already beginning to occur.

Metal Technology (MTI), a company with a long history of manufacturing metal components and parts for space applications, has recently announced that they have successfully 3D printed test coupons out of a metal alloy known as C-103. C-103 is a Niobium based alloy which is widely used is aerospace applications because of its incredible heat resistance, as well as its light-weight, cost, reliability, and ability to stand up to intense vibrations and cryogenic temperatures. It was actually first used in space decades ago by NASA, within the Apollo command module.

“This project began in January, 2014 when we decided to pursue additive manufacturing as an additional capability to our operations. It’s a natural evolution of our work with C-103, to provide customers quicker delivery and more complex geometries,” said Steve Smith, MTI’s Director of Sales & Marketing.

Niobium

Niobium

The exact composition of C-103, excluding the main element of Niobium is as follows:

The ProX 300 printer from 3D Systems, used by MTI

The ProX 300 printer from 3D Systems, used by MTI

  • Hafnium: 10.0%
  • Titanium: 0.7%-1.3%
  • Zirconium: 0.7%
  • Tantalum: 0.5%
  • Tungsten: 0.5%

The alloy has a melting point of 4260 ± 90ºF, and a density of 0.320 lbs./cubic inch, making it ideal for use in space, as well as for components used within super-heated thrusters, and rocket engines.

MTI powdered C-103 could open up doors for the company within the manufacturing chain, particularly in supplying parts to other companies such as Aerojet Rocketdyne, ATK, Boeing, European Space Agency, Honeywell, JAXA, Lockheed Martin, Moog, NASA, Orbital Sciences, Pratt & Whitney, Sierra Nevada Corp., SpaceX, United Launch Alliance, UTC Aerospace and others.

For those who were wondering, the sintering of this powdered alloy was accomplished on a 3D Systems’ ProX 300. Let’s hear your thoughts on this new method of printing an alloy, which has many far reaching uses within the aerospace industry, in the C-103 Niobium 3D printing forum thread on 3DPB.com.

[Source: MTI]

 

Share this Article


Recent News

$51M to Ramp up 6K’s Production of Batteries and 3D Printing Metals

Secret Audit Reveals US Military’s 3D Printing Tech Vulnerable to Cyberattacks



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

3D Printing News Briefs, September 9, 2021: Events, Materials, & More

In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, the first Formnext + PM South China finally opens this week. In materials news, a biomedical company introduced what it calls the first purified...

Featured

US Navy Issues $20M to Stratasys to Purchase Large-Format 3D Printers

The U.S. Navy has been steadily increasing its investment into practical 3D printer usage, as opposed to research. The latest comes in the form of a whopping $20 million contract...

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: August 22, 2021

From food 3D printing and GE Additive’s Arcam EBM Spectra L 3D printer to 3D printing and CAD in a post-pandemic world and topology optimization, we’ve got a busy week...

Featured

The Largest 3D Printed Structure in North America: a Military Barracks in Texas

ICON’s latest 3D printed training barracks structure in Texas signals another positive step for the additive construction industry. Described by the company as the largest 3D printed structure in North...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.