Additive Manufacturing Strategies

NanoSteel’s New Metal Powders Deliver on Strength and Durability for Many Industries

ST Medical Devices

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nanosteel logoProvidence, Rhode Island-based NanoSteel does exactly as its name implies: it designs nano-structured steel materials. Now, it has made available its first powders for 3D printing/additive manufacturing. We reported on the company back in March, noting that NanoSteel is leading the pack in bringing 3D printing innovations to manufacturing by offering materials with “amazing resilience and strength.” Now, more than six months later, we are reporting good news on NanoSteel’s progress creating strong materials that continue its reputation for industry breakthroughs.

BLDRmetal™ J-10 micro structure

BLDRmetal™ J-10 micro structure

This week, NanoSteel announced the availability of its BLDRmetal J-10 and  BLDRmetal J-11, which can be used to build components for “highly abrasive manufacturing.” For example, 3DX Industries, partnering for this commercial application with NanoSteel, used J-10 to 3D print a security tool for a global avionics company–and it lasted five times longer than the previous solution used by the company. J-11 is designed for “extreme wear low impact applications.” Both J-10 and J-11 offer extreme wear endurance that is much more than “equivalently infiltrated 420 stainless steel.” To put this into layman’s terms, these metal powers are stronger than some of the strongest stainless steel.

General Manager and Vice President of Engineered Powders at NanoSteel Harald Lemke summarizes the new BLDRmetals contributions to manufacturing for the oil and gas, tool and die, and energy industries for applications such as molds, dies, and drilling and pump components. Lemke explains:

“The first BLDRmetal powders offer compelling alternatives to existing materials for the binder jet printing process. The company’s entry into the market enhances the applicability of binder jet printing by enabling the manufacturing of high-complexity, lower cost components with exceptional wear performance.”

Prototype Part for an Oil & Gas Mud Pump

Prototype Part for an Oil & Gas Mud Pump

According to the company website, binder jetting is a form of additive manufacturing that uses a powder bed process. A binder selectively prints a part “by adhesively joining the metal particles.” Once the jetting process is accomplished, “the green part is sintered and an infiltrant, bronze, is melted and drawn into the part to create a dense component.”

Binder Jet Machine

Binder Jet Machine

These new metal powders for binder jetting are NanoSteel’s first in a planned portfolio that will include products for every kind of metal 3D printing process. The company has already had 400 patents granted worldwide for an array of materials that include sheet steel and coatings — along with its powders.

Additive manufacturing already has the capability to build custom parts on demand, “create advanced geometries and eliminate tooling,” so one can only imagine what the addition of these materials that have maximized mechanical qualities because they are derived from their nano-scale properties.

Have you had any experience using any of these new metal powders?  What were your thoughts?  Let us know in the Nanosteel forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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