Inconel alloy 625 is commonly used for components in the aerospace markets.
Inconel alloy 625 is commonly used for components in the aerospace markets.

By Liz Nickels

The alloy is ExOne's first single metal alloy for 3D printing industrial applications which has 99% density, due to the use of its binder jetting technology.

Inconel alloy 625 is commonly used for components in the aerospace, chemical and energy markets, with applications including gas turbine blades, filtration and separation, heat exchanger and moulding processes. The metal is suitable due to its oxidation and corrosion-resistant qualities, able to retain its strength when subjected to extreme environments such as high pressure or wide temperature ranges. Inconel alloy 625 has been qualified for use on ExOne's M-Flex and X1-Lab 3D printing machines. The company expects to commercialize the metal in June 2014.

"Our qualification of the more than 99% dense Inconel alloy 625 further validates ExOne's binder jetting technology as a cost-effective 3D printing industrial solution,” said Rick Lucas, ExOne's CTO. “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."

Titanium development

The company plans to increase its portfolio of qualified metals to address a broader opportunity set of applications and ExOne's Materials Applications Laboratory (ExMAL) is in various development stages with several metals, including titanium. The aim is to qualify additional industrial materials approximately every six months, ExOne says.