Fraunhofer IFAM processes and tests new iron powder for Additive Manufacturing

July 11, 2019

Fraunhofer IFAM processes and tests new iron powder for Additive Manufacturing

An iron powder demonstrator component designed by Agent-3D and produced by EB-PBF (Courtesy Fraunhofer IFAM)

 

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM), Dresden, Germany, reports that it has successfully processed and tested a new type of iron powder which it believes opens up new possibilities in metal Additive Manufacturing. With the production method, IFAM believes that prices for iron powder for AM can be achieved which are only around 10% of the current cost, and reports that there are also inexpensive alternatives for other materials, such as HDH titanium powder.

The institute stated that, until now, mainly spherical powders produced by inert gas atomisation have been used for the powder bed-based AM processes Electron Beam Powder Bed Fusion (EB-PBF) and Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF), resulting in high prices. However, the institute has now completed a feasability study in which it was able to produce dimensionally stable components by EB-PBF using its new iron powder.

Despite the more irregular particle shape and the expected poorer flowability of this iron powder compared to gas atomised powders, it offers a low-cost alternative, and has reportedly proven that the EB-PBF process is a robust technology with the ability to cope with variations in the flowability of the powder.

In addition to the various powder mixtures, IFAM stated that processing of a wide variety of alloys have also been successfully tested, and detailed investigations into the respective alloy behaviour have begun. The institute reports that it has also created an inexpensive alternative for the Additive Manufacturing of steels, which could also be conceivable for other materials. 

www.ifam.fraunhofer.de

Download the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Our latest issue is now available to view online or download in PDF format.

As well as an extensive AM industry news section, this 172-page issue includes articles and reports on:

  • United Technologies: Pioneering new possibilities for Additive Manufacturing in aerospace
  • Additive Manufacturing at HP: A new ‘centre of excellence’ supports the move to volume production
  • Powder removal: The Achilles heel of powder bed-based metal Additive Manufacturing
  • Defining your digital future: The path to industrial digitalisation in Additive Manufacturing and beyond
  • DfAM insight: How to choose candidate products for AM production applications
  • VBN Components: Additive Manufacturing delivers a new generation of wear-resistant carbide parts
  • Developing an effective metal powder specification for Binder Jet Additive Manufacturing
  • Rapid qualification of new alloys for Additive Manufacturing through a holistic process chain
  • > More information

Latest news

    E-newsletter

    Sign up to our e-newsletter, sent weekly to AM professionals and end-users around the world. We'll also let you know each time a new issue of Metal AM magazine is available.

    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 in PDF format, in either single page format or as double-page “spreads” for viewing on large monitors. All downloads are free of charge. Go to archive...

    Connect with us

    Visit our social media channels and sign up to our e-newsletter