The industry already uses steel alloys in additive manufacturing. Materials scientist Prof. Thomas Niendorf and his Kassel research group in cooperation with the TU Bergakademie Freiberg were able to significantly increase the quality . The scientists use a high-strength TRIP steel alloy as their base and utilize the heat of the electron beam melting process to control the material structure very precisely. The material properties can be calculated reliably. Thus, the risk of unexpected cracks and fractures is significantly minimized.
In addition, the process is particularly suitable for complex, small components and, unlike titanium products, requires no elaborate post-processing. This makes it interesting not only for the automotive industry or aerospace, but for lightweight construction in general, for cost and efficiency reasons. Overall, Prof. Niendorf sees enormous potential in 3D metal printing for the German economy.