Bodycote’s new Powdermet technologies combine metal additive manufacturing with near net shape
Jul 21, 2017 | By Benedict
Bodycote, a British provider of heat treatment and specialist thermal processing services, has released Powdermet, a group of additive manufacturing processes for the production of complex components using powder metallurgy.
UK company Bodycote can claim years of experience making strong and complex parts from powdered metal. And with the introduction of Powdermet, it will soon be able to add experience with next-generation metal 3D printed parts.
According to the company, its new Powdermet technologies incorporate new, patent-pending techniques that combine 3D printing with well-established net shape and near net shape techniques.
Powdermet consists of four individual processes: Powdermet hybrid with 3D printing, Powdermet 3D printing, Powdermet near net shape (NNS), and Powdermet selective surface net shape (SSNS).
Perhaps the most interesting of the technologies is the hybrid with 3D printing process, which combines NNS or SSNS with 3D printing to produce fully bonded components at “greatly reduced cost and production time” compared with 3D printing alone. The hybrid process also allows for the use of multi-metallic structures.
Although a limited number of details have been provided about how these new processes work, Bodycote says the suite of Powdermet services offes a number of significant advantages. These include complete powder consolidation, structural homogeneity, and the elimination of internal porosity and unconsolidated powder flaws.
The processes can purportedly also produce components with varying surface features and thicknesses, with higher structural integrity than alternative production techniques, cutting out the need to braze or weld parts together to form larger structures.
Bodycote says that different parts of a component can be formed from different alloys in order to arrive at “the ideal and most cost-efficient solution”. Component design can be tailored to actual performance requirements and is not limited by subsequent machining operations.
“The recent breakthroughs are truly game-changing technologies for component design and manufacturing,” commented Stephen Harris, Bodycote Group Chief Executive. “Industry applications are wide-ranging, with early adoption expected in aerospace, oil and gas, power generation, and mining.”
Materials usable with Powdermet include stainless steels (grades 304L, 316L, 316LN), martensitic stainless steels (grades 17/4PH, 13/8PH, 15/5PH, X4CrNiMo), duplex stainless steels (duplex 2205, super duplex 2505), Ni based alloys (grades IN625, IN690, IN713, IN718, IN728, IN925, IN939, C22, 247LC, Supermet 60+, Supermet 60, Supermet 50, Waspaloy), Co based alloys (grades stellite 1, 3, 6, 12 and 21), titanium (grades CP Ti, Ti6AI4V, TiAl, Ti6Al2Sn4Zr2Mo), aluminum (grades Al-Si alloys, Al6061, AlSi10Mg), cobalt chrome molybdenum, and tungsten alloys.
Metal 3D printed parts made using Powdermet technologies are subjected to heat treatment and hot isostatic pressing.