Two German companies are collaborating to begin 3D printing industrial amorphous metals—also known as metallic glass and twice as strong as steel—offering greater elasticity and the potential to produce lightweight products. Heraeus AMLOY brings expertise in the production and processing of amorphous metals while TRUMPF introduces powerful experience in additive manufacturing.
The overall goal in this partnership is to see amorphous parts take their place in standard production, as well as enjoying the many benefits offered by 3D printing, mainly in affordability and better performance in production. Another added bonus is that 3D printing offers engineers much greater latitude during 3D design and printing, not only meaning that they are able to work on-demand for parts but they can also create and make changes to prototypes or components quickly without a middleman.
Amorphous parts display isotropic behavior, evident in materials like glass or metal—meaning that properties are the same in every direction. Applications like aerospace and mechanical engineering will benefit especially with the use of amorphous metals in production, as well as the medical field due to biocompatibility.
“Amorphous metals hold potential for numerous industries. For example, they can be used in medical devices – one of the most important industries for additive manufacturing. That is why we believe this collaboration is such a great opportunity to make even more inroads into this key market with our industrial 3D printing systems,” says Klaus Parey, managing director TRUMPF Additive Manufacturing.
3D printing also leads to the potential for new applications with amorphous metals:
“3D printing of amorphous components in industry is still in its infancy. This new collaboration will help us speed up printing processes and improve surface quality, ultimately cutting costs for customers. This will make the technology more suitable for a wider range of applications, some of which will be completely new,” says Jürgen Wachter, head of the Heraeus AMLOY business unit.
It is easy to understand why the two companies see the benefit of using a 3D printer for amorphous metals as they are created via molten metal that cools rapidly. Fabrication can be performed on a large scale and at a lighter weight, reducing the use of materials and eliminating extra waste. Parts can also be created in one piece rather than numerous parts that must be assembled afterward.
Heraeus AMLOY is currently optimizing their amorphous alloys for use with TRUMPF’s TruPrint systems, especially the latest-generation TruPrint 2000 machine.
“Two 300-watt lasers scan the machine’s entire build chamber in parallel. Using a laser focal diameter of just 55 micrometers, users can carry out both low and high-volume production of amorphous parts with extremely high surface quality. The ‘Melt Pool Monitoring’ function automatically monitors the quality of the melt pool, so any errors in the process are spotted at an early stage,” state the companies in a press release sent to 3DPrint.com.
Customers already working with TRUMPF 3D printers can use them for processing of Heraeus AMLOY zirconium-based alloys. Together, the two companies hope to make copper and titanium alloys available to customers for 3D printing soon.
Metal 3D printing is being used around the world today in a variety of industries, to include aerospace, automotive, medical, and more. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.[Source / Images: Trumpf Media]
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