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Sandvik and Renishaw qualifying new metal powders for AM

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Metal AM company Renishaw and Sandvik Additive Manufacturing are teaming up to qualify new metal powders for production applications. The materials to undergo qualification include new alloy compositions that are optimized for powder bed fusion and offer superior material properties.

Renishaw and Sandvik are fairly well acquainted. For the past year, Sandvik has been working with metal AM systems from Renishaw at its Additive Manufacturing Division. Since installing Renishaw’s metal 3D printing technology, the companies have cooperated to develop process parameters for various Sandvik metal powders, including stainless and maraging steels as well as its Osprey nickel-based superalloys.

With a brand new titanium atomiser and powder processing facility, Sandvik will increasingly focus on qualifying its new alloys for additive manufacturing to meet the standards of the medical sector and other industries.

“With our 157-year materials knowledge, our comprehensive range of in-house steels, duplex and super-duplex stainless steels, as well as nickel-based alloys and our new titanium powders, Sandvik now offers the widest range of AM materials to the market under the Osprey brand,” said Mikael Schuisky, VP R&D and Operations at Sandvik Additive Manufacturing. “Renishaw’s open machines have enabled us to rapidly optimize process parameters for our alloys for use in many different applications.”

Renishaw Sandvik qualifying powders

By working with Renishaw on developing process parameters for its metal powders, Sandvik has found small ways to adjust and optimize the composition of its alloys, while still remaining within ASTM specifications. These adjustments have led to superior mechanical properties for parts printed using PBF systems. Sandvik highlights two materials that have benefitted from process parameter development: a maraging steel with enhanced strength and hardness and a crack-free Osprey HX nickel superalloy.

“Much of the innovation in AM in the next few years will come from the pairing of enhanced machine performance with improved alloys,” explained Stephen Crownshaw, AM Business Manager at Renishaw. “Better alloys mean better material properties, enabling AM components that are even more efficient and cost-effective. The consistency of Renishaw’s latest AM systems, combined with Sandvik’s material expertise, provides tremendous opportunities to advance AM processes and to make a stronger business case for AM.”

More than just qualifying its powders for powder bed fusion, Sandvik Additive Manufacturing is also developing additive production applications in order to drive the industrialization of the technology.

“AM is transforming the manufacturing landscape, with better materials and equipment being the driving forces behind that change,” concluded Schuisky. “Sandvik’s unique end-to-end process knowledge – spanning raw materials, powder production, additive manufacturing and post-processing methods such as machining – puts us in the ideal position to help manufacturers and customers to exploit this exciting technology. Renishaw’s latest quad laser systems also help us to extract AM’s full potential.”

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