New Binder Jet Powders Enable 3D Printing of Components with Increased Wear Resistance

NanoSteel®, a pioneering company in nano-structured materials design, has introduced powders for the binder jet 3D printing process and its first commercial use in additive manufacturing.

Binder Jet Machine

The new materials, named BLDRmetal™ J-10 and BLDRmetal™ J-11 powders, can be used to 3D print parts for highly abrasive environments. These components can now leverage the unique advantages of additive manufacturing, such as elimination of tooling, creation of complex geometries, and fabrication of custom components on demand.

The industrial components that are manufactured using J-10 powder exhibit three times the wear and impact resistance, and two times the elongation of an equivalently infiltrated 420 stainless steel. This capability was demonstrated by NanoSteel in conjunction with additive manufacturing service provider, 3DX industries. As part of the demonstration, a security tool was 3D printed for a global avionics company to remove and replace aircraft panels.

For this commercial application, tools that were made using J-10 powder exhibited high durability, lasting five times longer than those made using the earlier solution. This brought down the risks associated with service delays of the aircraft.

“The NanoSteel solution enabled us to create a tool that delivered the durability and reliability the customer required in a fast turnaround environment,” said Roger Janssen, President and CEO of 3DX. The avionics service team intends to use the new technology across its global operations.

The J-11 is another type of powder in the BLDRmetal product line, and is suitable for low-impact applications experiencing extreme wear. Components made using J-11 show ten times the wear resistance than that of an equivalently infiltrated 420 stainless steel. Both J-10 and J-11 demonstrate outstanding performance due to the presence of a steel matrix that provides toughness and ductility and complex metallic phases that deliver good wear resistance.

“These first BLDRmetal powders offer compelling alternatives to existing materials for the binder jet printing process,” said Harald Lemke, General Manager and Vice President of Engineered Powders at NanoSteel. “The company’s entry into the market enhances the applicability of binder jet printing by enabling the additive manufacturing of high-complexity, lower-cost components with exceptional wear performance.”

The faster building speed of the binder jet process makes it ideal for cost-effective fabrication of industrial metal components.

These two powders are the first in NanoSteel’s BLDRmetal powder portfolio designed for hard metal applications. The portfolio will also incorporate new products for all of the existing metal 3D-printing processes. BLDRmetal J-10 and J-11 powders are designed for use in energy, tool and die, and oil and gas applications, such as molds, dies, pump and drilling components.

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