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3D Printing Progress
Posted on June 17, 2016 by  & 

Amorphous metals now 3D-printed for the first time

Through a new technology partnership with the Swedish company Exmet, the Heraeus technology group has now broadened its portfolio of 3D-printed metals to include the highly sought-after group of materials known as amorphous metals. "Amorphous metals will change our future. They possess a wide variety of previously incompatible characteristics: They are very strong and yet malleable, as well as harder and more corrosion-resistant than conventional metals. Together with Exmet, we intend to open up this new class of materials for industry and 3D printing," says Tobias Caspari, head of 3D Printing at Heraeus New Businesses. Heraeus contributes its extensive materials expertise, while Exmet brings their proficiency in manufacturing with 3D printing. "Particularly in additive manufacturing, it is crucial for the material and the manufacturing process to be perfectly matched in order to ensure the utmost consistency and quality," Tobias Caspari emphasizes.
Amorphous metals are suitable for an exceptional number of high-tech applications. They are energy-absorbing and scratch-proof while still having very good spring characteristics - interesting for injection nozzle diaphragms, casing for consumer electronics, or as dome tweeters for speakers. "For fifty years the commercial success of amorphous metals has been held back by inadequate manufacturing methods. Now that changes. Exmet looks forward to cooperating with Heraeus as a competent partner with a worldwide network to help bring this disruptive new technology to the market," says Mattias Unosson, Exmet co-founder and CEO.
Expertise in materials and processes critical to success
Heraeus develops high-tech metal powders and the related processes for additive manufacturing - a market with great potential, but far from "plug & play." Expertise in materials and processes is crucial here, because the metal powder and the printing process must be individually matched with the desired component. Based on its more than 165 years of experience with metals and metals processing, the Hanau-based technology group focuses on manufacturing high-quality metal powders suitable for 3D printing, on researching new special alloys, and on developing the parameters for processing the materials. In addition, their customers have access to experts for design and process simulation, several manufacturing facilities, and recycling options for used metal powder.
Source and top image: Heraeus
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