The new metal additive manufacturing materials were released with comprehensive material properties data to provide aerospace and automotive customers transparency and standards for production.
Global provider of industrial additive manufacturing (AM) metals and polymers, EOS GmbH, has released four news metal AM materials for 3D-printing. EOS StainlessSteel CX, EOS Aluminium AlF357, EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 5, and EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 23 have been tailored to suit a broad array of applications, ranging from automotive, medical, and aerospace applications.
EOS offers comprehensive data on the material properties of all four metals – such as the number of test specimens on which the mechanical properties are based on – as well as detailed scanning electron microscope (SEM) images that provide an insight into the material quality.
The company is providing documentation and transparency for aerospace and automotive industry customers to easily compare the benefits of selective laser melting (SLM) – also known as direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) – against traditional manufacturing technologies and other 3D-printing technologies. Such data and openness are a requirement for the use of additive manufacturing (AM) in series production.
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“At EOS, the development of systems, materials, process parameters, software, and services have always gone hand in hand. All of the elements are perfectly aligned to each other. The result is reproducible high-quality parts at a competitive cost per part. This combination is of crucial importance, particularly for series manufacturing,” says Hannes Gostner, director of research and development at EOS.
SEM imagery of EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 5 (Image courtesy: EOS GmbH)
Reliable component characteristics classifies the technological maturity of all its polymers, metals, and processes in the form of Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs). The TRL concept was developed by NASA and is established in numerous industries. Level 5, for example, refers to a verification of the technical solution, while the highest, level 9, refers to full production capability with extensive statistical data documentation. With validated parameters for part properties, EOS is both facilitating and accelerating the transition to series production using additive manufacturing.
With the aim to give new materials clear value propositions and for easy orientation, EOS divides its materials and processes into two categories: TRL 3–6 refer to “core” products, whereas TRL 7–9 refer to “premium” products and address the usage for series applications. The four new EOS metal AM materials fall into the company’s premium series manufacturing category:
- EOS StainlessSteel CX – TRL 8 – is a new tooling grade steel developed for production with the EOS M 290 DMLS system that combines excellent corrosion resistance with high strength and hardness. Components made from this material are easy to machine and enable an excellent polished finish.
- EOS Aluminum AlF357 – TRL 7 – is an ideal material for applications that require a light metal with excellent mechanical and thermal strength. Components made from this material are characterized by their light weight, corrosion resistance, and high dynamic loading. EOS Aluminum AlF357 has been specially developed for production with the EOS M400 DMLS system, but it is planned to also make the material available for the EOS M 290 system.
- EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 5 – TRL 7 – has been specially developed for its high fatigue strength without hot isostatic pressing (HIP). Suitable for production with the EOS M 290, the material also offers excellent corrosion resistance, making it ideal for aerospace and automotive applications.
- EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 23 – TRL 7 – has also been specially developed for its high fatigue strength without hot isostatic pressing (HIP) and for production with the EOS M 290. Compared to Ti64, Ti64 Grade 23 offers improved elongation and fracture toughness with slightly lower strength. Thanks to these properties, it is particularly well suited to medical applications.
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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.
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