Desktop Metal qualifies 4140 low-alloy steel for high-volume AM with its Production System

June 3, 2021

This linear pneumatic piston, made with 4140 low-alloy steel, is used to convert air pressure into rotary motion through a rack and pinion. The Desktop Metal Production System P-50 enables production of up to 690,000 parts per year (Courtesy Desktop Metal)

Desktop Metal, Inc, Burlington, Massachusetts, USA, has qualified the use of 4140 low-alloy steel for use in its Production SystemTM metal Binder Jetting (BJT) Additive Manufacturing platform. Desktop Metal is reportedly the first company to qualify 4140 low-alloy steel for use with metal BJT systems, enabling its use in mass production end-use part applications.

Considered one of the most versatile low-alloy steels, 4140 is characterised by its toughness, high tensile strength and abrasion and impact resistance. It is a critical, all-purpose and heat-treatable steel used extensively in a variety of automotive, oil and gas, and industrial applications, such as gears, downhole tool components, couplings, spindles, bolts and nuts, and many other mechanical parts.

Desktop Metal’s materials science team has validated that 4140 low-alloy steel, built on Production System technology and sintered by Desktop Metal, meets MPIF 35 standards for structural Powder Metallurgy parts set by the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF).

“4140 has been a challenging material for metal binder jetting because of its low alloyed content, tight carbon control requirements, and low ignition energy, which together require advanced binder chemistry, as well as extensive printing and sintering optimisation and atmospheric controls for safe processing,” stated Jonah Myerberg, co-founder and CTO of Desktop Metal.

“We are excited to be the first to qualify 4140 for metal binder jetting to enable this versatile material for the AM industry. With the speed of the Production System, businesses can now use binder jetting to print complex 4140 parts at competitive costs while maintaining the strength and mechanical properties of traditionally manufactured alternatives. This is a game-changing solution for manufacturers who have been tied to time-consuming and expensive machining and conventional tool-based manufacturing processes,” added Myerberg.

The Production System platform materials library includes 17-4 PH stainless steel, 316L stainless steel and 4140 low-alloy steel, each of which have been qualified by Desktop Metal. The platform also supports several customer-qualified materials, including silver and gold, and the company plans to add additional metals to its portfolio, including tool steels, stainless steels, superalloys, copper, and more.

www.desktopmetal.com

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