Velo3D, Campbell, California, USA, has commercially released a production process for additively manufactured parts in Hastelloy® X, a nickel-base alloy suitable for Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) Additive Manufacturing, which is exceptionally resistant to corrosion cracking and oxidation.
According to Velo3D, Hastelloy X is most often used to manufacture parts for gas turbine engines for combustion zone components due to its high-temperature strength.
“Power generation applications such as industrial gas turbines are a key focus for Velo3D, so it is important that we qualify the right materials to serve that market,” explained Benny Buller, founder and CEO of Velo3D. “We will continue to add more of these types of compatible materials that enable customers to print parts they couldn’t before, yet with even better material properties than those produced by traditional manufacturing.”
Air mobility and power generation provider, Sierra Turbines, San Jose, California, USA, recently partnered with Velo3D to additively manufacture a prototype for its 20 kW microturbine engine with a unicore in Hastelloy X. The company aims to additively manufacture 95% of its engines through metal AM, taking advantage of the design freedom possible through Velo3D’s SupportFree process.
“Sierra Turbines wants to lead aerial and power systems into a new way of manufacturing,” stated Roger Smith, founder and CEO of Sierra Turbines. “That means pushing the limits of what is possible to create a more heat-resistant, lower maintenance, and higher-performing gas microturbine. Velo3D’s technology makes this the ideal manufacturing solution for turbines.”
Velo3D’s patented SupportFree process reduces the consideration of support structures for complex passageways, shallow overhangs and low angles. Coupled with its non-contact recoater, the company states that its AM process can create the intricate cooling passageways and fuel delivery channels needed to achieve high-output fluid transmission and electrical power.
The company recently announced that a 1-meter tall system will be available in Q4 2020, meaning that for what is believed to be the first time, meter-tall parts can be additively manufactured by PBF-LB without support structures, creating new part opportunities for industrial applications. Velo3D’s Sapphire machine is now compatible with titanium 64, Inconel alloy 718, aluminum F357, and Hastelloy X.