The ExOne Company, a global provider of three-dimensional printing machines and printed products, has announced that its research and development department, the ExOne Material Applications Laboratory (ExMAL), has qualified Inconel® alloy 625. This introduction represents ExOne’s first single metal alloy for 3D printing industrial applications at more than 99% density, utilising its binder jetting technology.
Inconel® alloy 625, a nickel-based alloy, 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 desirable due to its oxidation and corrosion-resistant qualities, able to retain its strength even 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 commercialise Inconel® alloy 625 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. 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,” stated Rick Lucas, ExOne’s Chief Technology Officer.
The Company’s ExMAL group is in various development stages with several metals, including titanium, which it states has produced excellent results in preliminary testing and printing research. In accordance with its strategy, the Company continues to be in varying stages of qualifying additional industrial materials approximately every six months.
ExOne builds 3D printing machines at its facilities in the United States and Germany. The company also supplies the associated materials, including consumables and replacement parts, and other services, including training and technical support, necessary for purchasers of its machines to print products.
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