Metal additive manufacturing market leader and technology developer ExOne has added a new material to its growing portfolio.
The company's Material Applications Laboratory (ExMAL) has qualified Inconel alloy 625, which is nickel-based, representing the first single metal alloy for 3D printing industrial applications at more than 99 per cent density, utilising its renowned binder jetting technology.
Inconel 625 is commonly used for components in the aerospace, chemical and energy sectors, with applications including gas turbine blades, filtration and separation, heat exchanger and moulding processes. The metal is considered desirable thanks to its oxidation and corrosion-resistant qualities and its ability to retain its strength in extreme environments.
Inconel alloy 625 has been qualified for use on ExOne's M-Flex and X1-Lab 3D printing machines and it is expected to commercialise Inconel alloy 625 in June 2014.
Rick Lucas, ExOne’s Chief Technology Officer, commented: "Our qualification of the more than 99 per cent dense Inconel alloy 625 further validates ExOne's binder jetting technology as a cost-effective 3D printing industrial solution.
"Our machines provide higher volumetric output per unit of time compared with other metal 3D printing technologies and greater flexibility for simultaneously printing multiple production parts. We believe that the ability to directly print highly dense metal components increases our competitive edge with both subtractive manufacturers and other metal 3D printing technologies."
ExMAL continues to work closely with customers in its mission to bring about new and better 3D printing materials. This is part of its ongoing quest to increase ExOne's portfolio of qualified metals to address a broader opportunity set of applications. ExMAL is in various development stages with several metals, including titanium, which has produced excellent results in preliminary testing and printing research. New materials combined with new product designs tailored to 3D printing will create disruptive market opportunities for customers and also expand the addressable market. In accordance with its strategy, the Company continues to be in varying stages of qualifying additional industrial materials approximately every six months.