Powder Bed Fusion Development

For complex high hardness wear parts

NanoSteel stator produced through laser powder bed fusion NanoSteel stator produced through laser powder bed fusion

The company is investing in the development of alloys suited for the powder bed fusion process (PBF) which represents the largest existing market and installed equipment base for metal additive manufactured parts. In developing new alloys, the company analyzes both the printability and the “as built” properties vs. materials currently available in AM, as well as those used in conventional manufacturing. 

One of the major hurdles to achieving 3D printed high hardness metallic parts has been their tendency to develop cracks. These cracks are the result of stresses developed during part build, given the typically limited ductility of these materials. To address this challenge, NanoSteel worked with global PBF development partners to optimize the parameters of a series of steel alloys to produce fully dense (99.9%) crack-free complex parts. The wear parts produced have hardness values up to 1000 HV, wear resistance comparable to conventionally manufactured M2 tool steels, and a uniform microstructure. These properties were achieved without the need for post-processing such as hot isostatic pressing (HIP) or further heat treatment, reducing production cost and lead times. Further development is currently underway to further improve the printability of these alloys and the resulting properties.

 VIDEO: NanoSteel for Additive Manufacturing: Demonstration of wear resistant part 2:48

If your company is interested in learning more about NanoSteel's AM Powder portfolio, please contact us

Additive Manufacturing Images

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NanoSteel has proven the ability to generate 99.9% dense, crack-free parts. Shown here is an integrated bearing built through laser powder bed fusion

 

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High wear resistance materials open the applicability of additive manufacturing to new industries

 

Hardness

 

Wear Comparison
In this chart, the NanoSteel alloy is the only material here that is produced with additive manufacturing, all others are conventionally manufactured

 

Wear Performance

 

Wear Comparison
In this chart, the NanoSteel alloy is the only material here that is produced with additive manufacturing, all others are conventionally manufactured

 

Gradient Material

 

Gradient Material
Using a combination of high hardness and ductile alloys, NanoSteel has generated samples with gradient properties through freeform direct laser deposition. Gradient material designs offer the equivalent of digital case hardening™ —delivering impact resistance and overall robustness in addition to high hardness and wear resistance in a single part.