Formnext 2022: Trumpf demonstrates expanded selection of powder alloys
At Formnext, currently underway in Frankfurt, Germany, Trumpf is demonstrating an expanded selection of powder alloys that can now be used in its 3D printing systems.
The firm is presenting the potential of new titanium, aluminium, stainless steel and tool steel alloys for additive manufacturing.
The first, titanium 6242, is a material currently in demand by the aerospace, motorsports and energy industries in particular.
"It should not displace the top dog, titanium 64,” says Jan Christian Schauer, materials expert for additive manufacturing at Trumpf. “At room temperature, titanium 64 and titanium 6242 behave very similarly. But at higher operating temperatures of 300 degrees Celsius and above, titanium 6242 has higher strengths compared to titanium 64.”
However, this titanium alloy is harder to process. "This is where our 500 degree Celsius preheating of the TruPrint 5000 comes into play,” Schauer continues. “This allows users to easily print components with titanium 6242 as well."
The second material, the ‘CustAlloy’ aluminium alloy from ECKA Granules, is particularly beneficial to the automotive sector. The alloy has very good mechanical properties; it does not break or crack as quickly. At the same time, CustAlloy is far less expensive to purchase than comparable high-end aluminium alloys, which require expensive alloying elements to achieve their properties.
"With standard aluminium, automotive manufacturers have reached their limits, especially when it comes to the combination of strength and elongation," says Schauer. “This is where CustAlloy helps.”
The third material being demonstrated by Trumpf at Formnext is the ‘Medidur’ stainless steel alloy, which is particularly strong even without thermal post-treatment. In addition, it does not rust as quickly. The material has been developed especially for the medical industry – a sector with higher requirements for the purity of materials. It therefore consists only of pure elements (no nickel or cobalt, both considered potentially carcinogenic), and can be used to design thin-walled and small medical components.
The last newly qualified material for Trumpf machines is ‘M789 AMPO’ tool steel, used primarily in tool and mould making. Users can use it to print components without preheating the powder. Because it is easy to process and is at the same time very corrosion-resistant, users can use the steel, for example, to manufacture tools that are used in combination with more aggressive processes, such as in plastic injection moulding.
“Powder is an important component of additive manufacturing,” concluded Schauer. “Our goal is to offer our customers the broadest material portfolio on the market. To achieve this, we work closely with powder manufacturers. Users of our equipment can thus always implement new applications using additive manufacturing or improve existing applications with new powders. A broad selection of materials is important in order to be on a par with conventional manufacturing processes.”