Hong Kong-based GC Advanced Material Solutions Ltd (GCAMS) has announced the recent evaluation, and subsequent qualification, of gas-atomised steel powders from Mitsubishi Steel Mfg. Co., Ltd., Japan, for the preparation of MIM and AM feedstocks.
Mitsubishi Steel’s 316L, 17-4PH and D11 powders are said to offer exceptionally high and reproducible tap density values, and have been qualified for the GCAMS Medpimould® and AmbientPrint™ freedstocks.
The steel powders are considered to be especially suitable as raw material for manufacturers using Material Extrusion (MEX)-based AM machines, or what GCAMS refers to as a Bound Material Powder Deposition process. The powder solids loading obtained with these powders are said to turn out consistently to be at 70+ vol% for the wax-base and at 60+ vol% for the solvent-base feedstocks, which results in a low shrinkage on sintering.
According to company CEO, Dr Robert Pompe, the Bound Material Powder Deposition technology, involving direct nozzle extrusion, is getting more traction, as companies in the AM field intensify development of real-world value chains for additively manufactured series products.
“The starting material cost adds significantly to the total cost of AM-based production. Our business is to sell licenses at a low cost, comparable to the one or two-month salary of a qualified R&D worker,” added Pompe. “To make it possible for many companies to turn the potential benefits of AM into a successful industrial or end user product. Part manufacturers can now use these and other MIM/CIM powders on the market and convert them into printable feedstocks.”
The licenses are specifically designed for and sold with the AM machines manufactured by Metallic3D, Inc. of Stuart, Florida, USA. Complete packages are marketed by 3D Dragon Printing Technology Co., Ltd., Hong Kong, in southeast Asia, China and other dedicated markets.