Application of Nitinol and other metal powders in the additive manufacturing process

High-quality powders are essential for the manufacturing process of metal additives. Metal powder is the raw material of the entire AM process chain, and its quality determines the quality of the final product. The powder quality cannot be manipulated and cannot be controlled during the AM process; it is the only process parameter that is not affected.
 
To further optimize various laser-based additive manufacturing methods, specially customized powders, are needed. The current level of technology is without any AM customized powder. All cosmetics used for AM were developed and improved decades ago for thermal spraying processes, such as atmospheric plasma spraying, vacuum plasma spraying, and high-speed oxygen fuel.
 
Due to the atomization process used in the manufacturing process, these powders may have hollow particles and higher levels of atmospheric elements. These issues are not crucial in thermal spraying, but they become critical for operations such as laser metal deposition because they can cause porosity and brittleness in the bulk parts that are added to manufacture.
 
Another critical issue is the frequency with which additive powder can be reused. Generally, if cross-contamination with other materials can be avoided entirely, and if sieving between the two can be ensured, the powder can be reused or recycled, which provides that the Same quality, For example, 20-35μm for selective laser melting, 35-100μm for laser metal deposition, there is a simple way to use only the same machine, the same powder feeder and the same equipment for a Material category.
 
The number of possible recovery steps depends on the chemical affinity of specific materials for atmospheric elements. Compared with conventional affine metals (such as iron and nickel-based steel), highly compatible materials such as titanium cannot be recycled. However, if it can be ensured that the powder processing is always carried out in an inert gas environment throughout the process, then all these materials can be repeated-theoretically infinite-for recycling.
 
The metal powder used in the additive process varies by industry. The aerospace and power generation industries are mainly concentrated in titanium and nickel-based alloys, such as Ti-6Al-4V, Ti-6246, Ti-6242, Ti-17 and polycrystalline Inconel 625, Inconel 718 and Nimonic PE 16; directional solidification, such as Mar -M 247, and in rare cases single crystals, such as CMSX-4 and PWA 1483/1484.
 
However, the automotive industry has a keen interest in lightweight materials such as aluminum alloys (for example, AlSi10Mg), while the tool, mold, and mold manufacturing industries focus on iron-based steels.
 
Medical applications, usually in the form of implants, use titanium and magnesium-based materials as well as CoCr alloys and ceramics, such as ZrO2-Al2O3 compounds/mixtures or shape memory alloys, such as Nitinol (50% nickel, 50% titanium).
 
Trunnano is one of the world's largest producers of titanium-based alloy powders. If you have a demand for titanium alloy powders, please contact Dr. Leo, email: brad@ihpa.net.

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