MaterialsMetal Additive ManufacturingMetals

AddUp and Swiss Steel Group develop new material for injection molding

Printdur HCT has the required corrosion resistance, hardness, and wear resistance, and is tailored for Powder Bed Fusion machines like AddUp’s FormUp 350

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AddUp, the metal additive manufacturing company, is expected to soon release Printdur HCT, a unique tool steel optimized for injection molding with the required corrosion resistance, hardness, and wear resistance for injection molding applications. The new Printdur HCT was developed by Swiss Steel Group, one of the world’s leading producers of special steel long products, based on the conventional standard tool steel 1.2083/AISI420 tailored for additive manufacturing with focus on Powder Bed Fusion machines like the AddUp’s FormUp 350.

Following strict internal manufacturing readiness level protocols, AddUp’s engineers were able to achieve up to 50% improvement in build speed without cracks and extremely low porosity, ensuring over 99.90% material density when compared to the standard material. In addition to this, surfaces can be built up in excellent quality and without any smoke residue. The Printdur HCT material was designed for the requirements of injection molding and can massively reduce – by double-digits – production cycles using conformal cooling channels. Most of the internal cooling channels can be optimally built to a sufficiently good quality, without any support structures.

“Our goal is to use our decades of experience in the atomization and materials technology to design new materials for additive manufacturing. The Printdur HCT utilizes the advantages of additive manufacturing to achieve the best material properties. We are very pleased that we have found a strong partner in the tooling sector in AddUp to establish new materials on the market,” said Dr. Horst Hill, Head of Special Materials Division at Swiss Steel Group.

Thanks to an enhanced hardness range of 53-57 HRC, and high wear resistance, Printdur HCT offers an improved and longer service life of mold inserts. With simple one-step heat treatment at 540°C, Printdur HCT achieves ~53HRC hardness and is ready to be used for injection molding applications because the material can withstand high temperatures without losing hardness. Since the material is produced without nickel or cobalt, significant damage to the environment and the operator can be avoided. The Swiss Steel Group, the recent winner of the German Sustainability Award, focuses on high sustainability standards with its fully comprehensive powder recycling system.

“At AddUp, we are committed to taking tooling molds to the next level using the FormUp 350. Our company’s history is deeply rooted in tooling applications thanks to our founding partners Michelin and Fives. It is through our experience and expertise in this industry that we continue to push the possibilities of additive manufacturing, proving it a more efficient and productive way to manufacture on an industrial scale,” said Julien Marcilly, CEO of AddUp.

Printdur HCT, which has achieved manufacturing readiness level 3, is currently being used on the FormUp 350 machine located at AddUp’s Tooling Competence Centre in Aachen, Germany. The material is currently available for prototyping and will be available for end-use production parts once fully developed.

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Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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