Howco and Nikon SLM Solutions look to C103 alloy for Additive Manufacturing rocket nozzles

June 13, 2024

Howco has acquired two new SLM 280 PS Additive Manufacturing machines and will embark on an exclusive initiative to develop and deploy process parameters for the use of C103 alloy for aerospace applications (Courtesy Nikon SLM Solutions)
Howco has acquired two new SLM 280 PS Additive Manufacturing machines and will embark on an exclusive initiative to develop and deploy process parameters for the use of C103 alloy for aerospace applications (Courtesy Nikon SLM Solutions)

Nikon SLM Solutions AG, based in Lübeck, Germany, has announced a significant enhancement to its partnership with Howco Metals Management LLC, Houston, Texas, USA. This has seen Howco acquire two new SLM 280 PS Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) Additive Manufacturing machines and embark on an exclusive initiative to develop and deploy process parameters for the use of C103 alloy tailored for aerospace applications.

C-103 alloy is a Niobium-Hafnium-Titanium alloy that is widely used in aerospace applications due to its high heat resistance, as well as its light weight and ability to withstand intense vibrations and cryogenic temperatures. The collaboration focuses on optimising the unique properties of C103 for additively manufactured rocket nozzles and other high-temperature applications.

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The installation of the new machines will enable Howco to upscale its production capabilities, which will then total four Nikon SLM machines. Under the agreement, Howco will have exclusivity for non-defence applications of C103 for three years on Nikon SLM 280 and SLM 500 AM machines.

“Partnering with Nikon SLM Solutions has equipped us with unparalleled technological support, enabling us to expand into new markets beyond our traditional scope,” said Conrad Kao, Director of Additive Manufacturing at Howco. “These advanced SLM 280 PS systems empower us to enhance our operational efficiency and cater to the intricate needs of the aerospace industry.”

“This partnership is instrumental as we continue to push the boundaries of additive manufacturing,” commented Antony Browy, Regional Sales Manager at Nikon SLM Solutions. “The exclusive development of C103 process parameters sets a new industry benchmark, ensuring Howco not only meets but exceeds the stringent quality and performance standards demanded by the aerospace sector.”

www.slm-solutions.com

www.howcogroup.com

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