An impeller made using Nanosteel’s range of PM for 3D printing.
An impeller made using Nanosteel’s range of PM for 3D printing.

The company can also now customize properties layer-by-layer using gradient material design. Nanosteel says that it has recently print a bearing and impeller using the powder bed fusion process. These parts were measured to be fully dense and crack-free, with hardness levels >1000 HV.

Building on this, the company used a combination of high hardness and ductile alloys to create a part featuring a gradient design. NanoSteel worked with the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology to generate part samples using freeform direct laser deposition. This single AM process achieved a transition between the hard and ductile properties without subsequent heat treatment.

High hardness parts

‘Proprietary metal alloys that support the cost-effective 3D printing of high-quality parts will help accelerate the transition from subtractive to additive manufacturing across applications such as wear parts, bearings, and cutting tools,’ said Harald Lemke, NanoSteel’s general manager of engineered powders. ‘The company’s AM powder offerings make it possible to design exclusively for the function of a high hardness part.’

The powders are suitable for making 3D parts for tool and die, energy, auto, and agriculture applications.