Oerlikon AM, a 3D printing service with locations around the globe, has introduced a new high-entropy alloy (AlxCrFe2Ni2) ideal for structural components like centrifugal pump impellers. The new material was developed as an alternative to super duplex stainless steels (DSS) and has comparable strength and corrosion resistance properties.
Oerlikon AM’s latest material offering is a high-entropy alloy powder characterized by a nanoscale duplex microstructure. The metal alloy, which surpasses the strength of DSS and matches its corrosion resistance, also offers advantages in terms of processability. According to Oerlikon AM, for instance, parts printed using the high-entropy alloy are crack-free using PBF even without baseplate preheating. Another key benefit of the high-entropy alloy is that it is more resistant to high temperatures, requiring only a single-step heat treatment to finish parts.
DSS materials by contrast are notoriously challenging in terms of metallurgy and typically require complex post-processing heat treatments to reduce the risk of unwanted phases in the part’s microstructure. DSS parts are also subject to embrittlement at high temperatures.
The use of PBF with the alloy also enables a new degree of design freedom unattainable using conventional manufacturing processes. This means end-users can design more complex, optimized geometries for parts like impellers. The printed material also displays smooth surface quality with the printing process.
Oerlikon AM is showcasing the DSS alternative at its booth at Formnext 2021 this week (Hall 12.1, booth E101) in the form of a 3D printed impeller. The innovative material was developed through the NADEA project, a collaborative European research project focused on high-entropy alloys. Key to the powder’s efficient development was Oerlikon Metco’s proprietary Scoperta Rapid Alloy Development Tool, an analytical software tool that streamlines the engineering of new metal alloys, from years to mere months.
Also within the context of Formnext 2021, Oerlikon AM revealed it had delivered its 1,000th 3D printed bicycle component to customer Urwahn. The parts in question were part of 150 sets of seven new components for a bicycle designed by Urwahn founder Sebastian Meinecke.