Additive Manufacturing Strategies

EOS Introduces New Stainless Steel 3D Printing Material

ST Medical Devices

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Stainless steel may not be the world’s most glamorous metal, but it’s one of the most useful. It’s strong, corrosion-proof, and versatile, ideal for applications in harsh environments. It can be sterilized in an autoclave, which makes it popular for medical and dental instruments, and its strength and corrosion-proof characteristics mean that it’s commonly used in automotive and aerospace applications. Unsurprisingly, it’s also a sought-after material for metal 3D printing.

EOS is now offering a new stainless steel material for 3D printing on the EOS M 290 system. Called EOS StainlessSteel 17-4PH IndustryLine, the material is comprised of an iron-based metal alloy powder and a set of parameters specifically for printing on the M 290. According to EOS, it meets the essential requirements of serial production using additive manufacturing, guaranteeing reproducible part quality through the highest degree of data reliability for material properties of the end product.

[Image: EOS]

This is significant, as previously the material properties – such as hardness, elongation at break, and tensile strength – of industrial 3D printed parts were determined based on a small statistical population, meaning that complex, time-consuming tests and qualification processes were often required. With StainlessSteel 17-4PH IndustryLine, users can save a great deal of time and cost in quality assurance and part qualification.

“Planning security and reliability are top priorities for customers who are engaged in serial manufacturing. For its StainlessSteel 17-4PH IndustryLine, EOS provides reliable and statistically proven data for the most important material properties of finished parts,” said Dr. Tobias Abeln, EOS Chief Technology Officer. “This significantly raises quality standards in Additive Manufacturing. The customer can use the data 1:1 to qualify the technology for large-scale production and therefore minimize the time required as well as cut the cost of in-house material and process qualification.”

The new material is described by EOS as being ideal for medical and orthopedic applications. Parts 3D printed with StainlessSteel 17-4PH IndustryLine material can be further treated after they’re finished printing, through micro-blasting, polishing or other processing. Users can avail themselves of material data sheets and batch-specific material test certificates, which contain detailed information about the tests conducted as well as the material standards. The standards correspond to either international standards or, in the absence of international standards, are derived from in-house quality assurance procedures. The quality of each batch of the metal powder is guaranteed by EOS’ quality assurance processes. You can see the material data sheets for StainlessSteel 17-4PH IndustryLine here.

“We were impressed by both the quantity and quality of the data that EOS provided for its IndustryLine process and material,” said Zachary Bryan, PhD, a Test Developer and Metallurgist with EOS customer Exactech. “We have manufactured various instruments based on EOS StainlessSteel 17-4PH IndustryLine and achieved the desired material properties. Exactech is planning to use this material for the small-scale manufacturing of medical instruments and intends to do so in collaboration with EOS.”

Discuss in the EOS forum at 3DPB.com.

Entirely 3D printed prototype (apart from the internal springs), produced with the EOS StainlessSteel 17-4 PH IndustryLine parameter set [Image: Exactech]

[Source: EOS]

 

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