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New steel alloy for unbreakable 3D printing process

Today, industrial metal 3D printing processes are ideal for producing large, heavy, high-strength objects. A new alloy will now improve their fracture strength.

03 Feb. 2018
Kai Tubessing
Andreas Fischer, Universität Kassel

Material scientist Dr. Thomas Niendorf from the University of Kassel has managed to develop a new TRIP steel alloy suitable for 3D printing with his Emmy Noether research group. Thanks to a variant of the electronic beam melting printing process (EBMO) optimized specifically for this material, metal pieces will be able to be created with enhanced material properties. Researchers from the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology provided the team with support.

With the EBM method, heat is applied to a specific area during printing in order to give the TRIP steel alloy a significantly more break-proof structure than ever before possible. Researchers imagine possible applications to include the aviation, aerospace and automotive industries, with the method being ideal for producing small, high-strength components. Previous metal 3D printing is primarily based on titanium alloys. In comparison, the new method will require much less post-processing, enabling more cost-effective production.