NanoSteel launches new tool steel for metal Additive Manufacturing

July 10, 2017

NanoSteel, Rhode Island, USA, has announced the launch of its first tool steel developed for the laser powder bed fusion Additive Manufacturing process. BLDRmetal™ L-40 is a case-hardening steel powder that provides high hardness and ductility (case hardness >70HRC, 10%+ core elongation) and is said to print easily on standard commercial equipment.

The alloy reportedly provides superior performance to M300 maraging steel and offers an alternative to difficult-to-print tool steels such as H13. According to NanoSteel, BLDRmetal L-40 is designed to be used for parts including tools, dies, bearings and gears.

NanoSteel demonstrated the new tool steel’s capabilities by printing a 20 cm roll thread die set, which it states outperformed dies machined from D2 and M2 tool steels. “We tried nearly every combination of material and conventional CNC machining process to create our dual-thread die sets, none of which could cut or grind the complicated dual-thread geometry,” stated Mark Doll, President and CEO of Perfect Lock Bolt America Inc., the only manufacturer of self-loosening resistant dual-thread fasteners in North America, after testing BLDRmetal L-40.

“The NanoSteel solution delivers exactly what we are looking for, including excellent surface finish, flexibility, as well as strength and hardness for maximum die life. This is a welcomed technological innovation to the fastener industry. We have been pleased with our testing and are slated to start production this year,” he concluded.

NanoSteel developed this high hardness alloy through rapid development at CFK GmbH, a leading Additive Manufacturing service provider whose expertise NanoSteel says was instrumental in developing the die from concept to finished part. “For us, the most important attributes of NanoSteel’s BLDRmetal L-40 are that it is easily implemented and creates crack-free high hardness components, which sets it apart from the many other tool steels we have tested,” commented Dr-Ing Christoph Over, CEO of CFK.

Harald Lemke, Vice President and General Manager of NanoSteel Engineered Powders, stated, “Launching BLDRmetal L-40 after successfully producing the roll thread dies ensures the commercial viability of the new alloy for customers investigating the use of Additive Manufacturing. We don’t stop at material design, but create joint solutions with our customers, facilitating the process from material selection and prototyping to fully qualified production parts.” Building on earlier products for binder jet printing, NanoSteel continues to expand its product family for Additive Manufacturing.

nanosteelco.com

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