Producing new metal alloys and composites

Update:29 Jan 2019

Now that additive manufacturing is gaining traction, ma […]

Now that additive manufacturing is gaining traction, materials manufacturers are investing more in developing new metal additive materials. That’s a big change from 10 years ago or even just five years ago when the market wasn’t big enough nor the technology advanced enough to justify such a venture. How far has metal additive come in the last decade, and what’s on the horizon for the rapidly growing technology?When HP entered AM in 2015, the Silicon Valley computer giant wanted to take a new approach to metal material development. HP noticed at the time that the prototype devices market was lacking, so it started a Metal Jet production service in a partnership with British aerospace and automotive components company GKN.

From that, HP now produces custom-made stainless steel powders for automotive, industrial, and medical customers, including Volkswagen, GKN, Wilo, and Parmatech. HP continues to develop new materials through its Open Materials Platform for both Metal Jet and Multi Jet Fusion.Osprey CE has been developing controlled-expansion alloys and metal powders with Sandvik for almost 20 years. The material program, based less than 10 miles from Swansea in South Wales, offers the full range of materials: iron-based alloys (stainless steel and maraging steel), nickel alloys, copper alloys, and cobalt alloys, as well as continued development in aluminum and titanium.

Sandvik created its own gas atomized technology with capabilities ranging from supplying small-scale metal powder for prototype development to high-volume batches for large-scale production.The AM material, parameter, and research development company is on the forefront of producing new metal alloys and composites. Nuechterlein, with a background in metallurgy, started the Erie, Colo.-based company in 2014 to expand the alloy portfolio. Four years ago, only 12 commercial metal alloys were on the market compared to 60-plus aluminum materials. With a focus on laser powder bed.

Elementum 3D has since developed numerous “ultramaterials” in aluminum alloy, refractory materials like tungsten and tantalum, steel- and nickel-based alloys, and copper.Industrial gas producer Praxair Inc. has been manufacturing metal powders for 50-plus years through the thermal spray coating markets. So, it’s only natural that its AM division, Praxair Surface Technologies (PST), has become one of the largest global manufacturers of additive metals over the last decade. PST now operates a 300,000-sq.-ft. facility in Indianapolis dedicated to production of metallic and ceramic powders. PST atomizes nickel-, cobalt-, iron-, titanium-, and copper-based alloys for almost every relevant market: aerospace, energy, and industrial, as well as an expanding reach in automotive and medical sectors.

cobalt chromium alloy