ExOne licenses method for the Additive Manufacturing of boron carbide objects from ORNL

August 25, 2019

August 25, 2019

ExOne licenses method for the Additive Manufacturing of B4C objects from ORNL
ORNL’s Bianca Haberl and Amy Elliott are co-inventors of the licensed process (Courtesy ExOne Company)

The ExOne Company, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, USA, has reported that it has licensed a patent-pending method of additively manufacturing aluminium-infiltrated boron carbide (B4C) collimators and other components used in neutron imaging from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA.

Following the announcement of their collaboration project, researchers at ORNL developed the Additive Manufacturing method on the ExOne M-Flex®, a metal AM system that uses Binder Jetting technology to produce additively manufactured objects in stainless steel, bronze or tungsten, as well as sand, ceramics and composites. 

The ORNL team, led by David C. Anderson, Group Leader of Instrument Engineering, developed a process to additively manufacture objects in B4C, a neutron-absorbing material, and then infiltrate the objects with aluminium. The final aluminium-infiltrated B4C material is known as a metal-matrix composite (MMC), a type of cermet. ORNL’s Amy Elliott and Bianca Haberl are co-inventors of the process.

According to ORNL, the development is significant because aluminium-infused B4C has strong but lightweight properties, as well as energy-absorbing characteristics that are useful in neutron scattering instruments, which enable researchers to capture data down to the atomic level.

ExOne states that it plans to use the license to commercialise the AM production of aluminium-infiltrated B4C objects, such as shielding equipment and components used in neutron scattering instrumentation. 

Dan Brunermer, Technical Fellow at the ExOne Company, commented, “It delivers results that X-rays can’t. Neutrons can detect light elements, like hydrogen or water, but they also penetrate through heavy elements like lead, which enables analysis of complex processes in-situ.”

The intellectual property covered in the license agreement includes pending U.S. patent application no. 16/155,134, titled ‘Collimators and Other Components from Neutron Absorbing Materials Using Additive Manufacturing,’ as well as two additional provisional filings. Under the agreement, ExOne will also engage in ongoing AM production of a variety of B4C matrix components used in neutron scattering experiments at ORNL.



August 25, 2019

About Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine

Metal AM magazine, published quarterly in digital and print formats, is read by a rapidly expanding international audience.

Our audience includes component manufacturers, end-users, materials and equipment suppliers, analysts, researchers and more.

In addition to providing extensive industry news coverage, Metal AM magazine is known for exclusive, in-depth articles and technical reports.

Our focus is the entire metal AM process from design to application.

Each issue is available as an easy-to-navigate digital edition and a high-quality print publication.

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • BMW Group: Laying the foundations for the application of metal Additive Manufacturing in the automotive industry
  • Predicting the metal Additive Manufacturing market – and breaking the hype cycle
  • China’s thriving metal Additive Manufacturing industry: An outsider’s perspective
  • Enhancing the productivity of Additive Manufacturing facilities through PBF-LB automation
  • Award-winning metal AM parts from the MPIF’s 2024 Design Excellence Awards
  • Performance of eddy currents for the in-situ detection of defects during PBF-LB metal AM

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
  • Heat treatment & sintering
  • HIP systems & services
  • Pre- & post-processing technology
  • Powders, powder production and analysis
  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
View online

Discover our magazine archive…

The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

Browse the archive

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap