3D Printing Metal Powder Types and Their Main Applications

3D Printing Metal Powder Types and Their Main Applications

At present, there are many metal powder materials that can be used for 3D printing. Due to the obvious spheroidization and agglomeration of single-component metal powder during the forming process, it is easy to cause sintering deformation and loose density. Therefore, multi-component metal powder or pre-alloyed powder is a common raw material for 3D metal printing powder.

According to the main elements of the matrix, these metal powders can be iron-based materials, nickel-based alloys, titanium and titanium alloys, cobalt-chromium alloys, aluminum alloys, copper alloys, and so on. Different metals have different properties, so there are differences in application. Let's take a look at their characteristics and application areas.

1. Titanium-based alloy powder
Titanium-based alloy is one of the metals with the best biocompatibility currently known, and it has osseointegration properties and a Young's modulus that is close to human bone, so it is regarded as the best metal biomedical materials today. It is clinically used in the implantation of human hard tissue and wound repair, and in cardiac surgery, such as heart valve stents and pacemaker shells. High-speed output and high-precision shape greatly meet the application needs of the medical industry.
Of course, in addition to medical, this is also widely used in fields such as aerospace, automotive and engineering industries that require significant weight reduction while maintaining high performance.

2. Aluminum alloy powder
Aluminum alloy is widely used in industry today, mainly because of its lightweight properties: the proportion of aluminum is only one-third of that of steel. It plays an important role in the lightweight of transportation tools. Aluminum powder is especially suitable for lightweight applications with thin walls and complex geometric shapes. It has been widely used in aviation, automobiles, machinery manufacturing, and shipbuilding industries.

3. Copper and copper alloy powder
With excellent thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity, good mechanical strength and wear resistance, it is the preferred material for heat exchange components. Precipitation hardening copper alloy CuCr1zr (chromium zirconium copper), retains excellent mechanical properties and good ductility in the temperature range of 300-500 °C after heat treatment.

4. Iron-based alloy powder
The good availability and cost-effectiveness of iron makes steel a real workhorse in most industries. Combining the iron base with different alloying elements makes it possible to create a variety of steels with different properties. Stainless steel has good mechanical properties and excellent corrosion resistance, so stainless steel materials can be seen in aviation, vehicles, medical, chemical, mold, etc.

5. Nickel-based superalloy powder
The oxidation resistance and corrosion resistance of nickel alloy make it suitable for the harsh environment of high temperature and high pressure. When the nickel alloy is heated, a thick and stable oxide layer will be passivated on the surface of the alloy to protect the inside of the alloy from corrosion. Nickel alloys maintain good mechanical properties over a wide temperature range.
Key properties of this class of metals are high temperature corrosion and oxidation resistance, which are suitable for jet turbines, gas turbines, oil and gas, pressure vessels or chemically processed components.

6. Cobalt alloy powder
Due to its excellent wear resistance and corrosion resistance, cobalt-based alloy is suitable for long-term implants with severe internal load, wear resistance and high corrosion resistance requirements, such as various artificial joints and plastic surgery implants, and it also has applications in the field of dentistry.

Post time: Jun-06-2022