Additive manufacturing company EOS has announced four new metal materials for production series AM: EOS StainlessSteel CX, EOS Aluminium AlF357, EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 5 and EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 23. The new metals were developed to meet the needs of a range of applications in the automotive and medical industries, among others.
The announcement of the four metals is accompanied by the release of comprehensive data on the materials’ properties, including the number of test specimens the mechanical properties are based one as well as high resolution scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of the materials. By providing this information along with the metals, EOS aims to promote transparency with its clients and to make it easier to compare its metal AM processes with other 3D printing technologies and more traditional manufacturing methods.
With over 25 years experience working with metal additive manufacturing materials, EOS is a leader in the industry. Presently, it offers a range of 20 metal materials for its DMLS process and more are in the pipeline. In fact, EOS Oy in Finland houses an entire facility dedicated to the development, qualification and quality assurance of metal materials and processes.
“At EOS, the development of systems, materials, process parameters, software, and services have always gone hand in hand,” said Hannes Gostner, Director Research and Development, EOS. “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.”
A look at the new materials
The first of the newly released metals is EOS StainlessSteel CX, a tooling-grade steel developed for the company’s EOS M 290 3D printer. The material boasts excellent corrosion resistance as well as high strength and hardness. Parts printed from StainlessSteel CX are reportedly easy to machine and can be polished for a high quality finish.
EOS Aluminum AIF357 is a lightweight metal with good mechanical and thermal strength and corrosion resistance. The material is also characterized by its high dynamic loading properties. The aluminum 3D printing material is compatible with the EOS M 400 system and will eventually become available for the EOS M 290 printer.
The next material, EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 5 is well suited for aerospace and automotive applications because of its high corrosion resistance. Notably, the material is designed to have high fatigue strength without hot isostatic pressing (HIP). The titanium material can be used for production on the EOS M290 3D printer.
Last but not least, EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 23 also offers high fatigue strength without HIP and integrates improved elongation and fracture toughness compared to Ti64. The material also has a slightly lower strength, however its properties are suitable for medical applications.
EOS classifies all of its 3D printing materials using Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs), a concept devised by NASA and used across many industries. The highest level, 9, indicates that a material is suitable for full production with extensive statistical data documentation. A lower level of 5, for instance, refers to a verification of the technological solution.
Its new materials fall into the following TRL levels:
- EOS StainlessSteel CX: Premium: TRL 8
- EOS Aluminium AlF357: Premium: TRL 7
- EOS Titanium Ti64 Grade 5: Premium: TRL 7
The company also divides its TRL rated products into two basic categories: its CORE products (TRL 3-6) and its PREMIUM products (TRL 7-9). The latter category is targeted at series production applications.