Metal powders – the raw materials

Metal powders – the raw materials

List of common metal materials

The variety of materials available for metal AM systems is continuously expanding. Common materials used are stainless steels, aluminium, nickel, cobalt-chrome and titanium alloys, with a number of machine manufacturers offering their own materials.

The most common materials for laser melting processes are shown in the table opposite. The material trade names vary depending on the manufacturer, therefore the name used here corresponds to the specifications on the material data sheets and in some cases the European nomination is given.

There are some efforts in standardisation of the processes and the materials, an important step for a better comparison between products and a faster introduction to existing process chains.

This wide variety of materials offers the user a good possibility of choosing the right material to achieve the specifications of the product.

Research institutes, universities and system manufacturers also offer individual materials for the customer.

Not all materials can be used in Additive Manufacturing, but in many cases and with the proper equipment the qualification of an available metal powder for a specific purpose can be done.

 

Specifying metal powders

The common specifications of metal powders suitable for AM are the spherical geometry of the particles resulting from the gas atomisation and a particle size distribution according to the layer thickness, usually between 10-50 µm.

Material properties such as tensile strength, hardness and elongation, are important and often used as reference points for the decision about the right material. The figure below illustrates some different alloys in an extensive range of yield strengths. This diagram can help the user to pick the appropriate material depending on two mechanical characteristics. The values for the yield strength have been taken from the manufacturer’s data sheets and represent the minimum measured values.

 

Mechanical-properties-of-me

Mechanical properties of metallic materials – minimum values from data sheets

 

 

> Next page: Secondary finishing processes

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 196-page issue includes articles and reports on:

  • Sintavia: New facility signals the move towards volume metal Additive Manufacturing for aerospace and defence
  • Thinking about metal Binder Jetting or FFF? Here is (almost) everything you need to know about sintering
  • Metal Binder Jetting and FFF: Considerations when planning a debinding and sintering facility for volume production
  • Velo3D: How a ‘support-free’ Laser Powder Bed Fusion process could remove roadblocks to serial Additive Manufacturing
  • New horizons for Additive Manufacturing in the oil, gas and maritime industries
  • Redesigned for Additive Manufacturing: Serial production of a new fuel swirler for Siemens gas turbine
  • Understanding metal powder requirements for Additive Manufacturing: Views from the industry
  • Towards a true digital twin for the metal Additive Manufacturing process
  • > 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