January 11, 2022 Volume 18 Issue 02

Materials News & Products

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New nickel-based superalloy for 3D printing

Velo3D has qualified the nickel-based superalloy powder Amperprint 0233 Haynes 282 for use in its Sapphire family of printers. The material is designed for high creep strength, thermal stability, weldability, and fabricability not commonly found in other alloys. This superalloy is ideal for high-temperature structural applications like energy generation, gas turbines, and space launch vehicles to build parts like heat exchangers, combustors, nozzles, combustion liners, rocket engines, and shrouded impellers. Shown left is a combustor liner made with the new superalloy. It features 23,000 unique holes for optimized air-to-fuel ratios and internal channels for regenerative cooling. The part is shown as printed, with no supports.
Learn more.


Desktop Metal qualifies 420 stainless steel for high-volume additive manufacturing

Desktop Metal recently announced the qualification of Grade 420 stainless steel (420 SS) for use on its Production System platform, which leverages patent-pending Single Pass Jetting (SPJ) technology designed to achieve the fastest build speeds in the metal additive manufacturing industry. Manufacturers can now leverage SPJ technology for the mass production of high-strength, end-use parts in 420 SS for demanding applications in industries such as medical, aerospace, defense, and consumer products.
Learn more.


New PETs for automotive exterior components

Polyplastics Group has introduced two new RENATUS polyethylene terephthalate (PET) grades that deliver superior mechanical properties, appearance, and weather resistance for automotive exterior components. RH030 (30% glass filled) and RH045 (45% glass filled) maintain their jet blackness and reduce whitening on the surface of molded articles in outdoor environments, making them ideally suited for applications such as automotive side mirrors and rear wiper arms/blades. Since PET parts are not painted, weathering degradation can occur over time when the glass filler starts to float and the jet blackness decreases. Accelerated weather resistance testing demonstrates that Polyplastics' new PET materials maintain lower index values than competing products, indicating that whitening is being reduced.
Learn more.


Optimal damping: Continental develops special bearings and other elements for EVs

Continental has developed special elastomer compounds for electric vehicles. They absorb the vibrations in the high-frequency range and are also lightweight. The company is also adapting other bearing elements such as battery mounts for buses or air press bearings in truck driver cabs to the requirements of e-mobility.
Read the full article.


Advanced graphenes for composites and thermoplastic applications

NeoGraf Solutions has extended its range of next-gen graphite materials with the launch of Graf-X graphene nanoplatelets (GNP) and graphene precursors (GP). Both high-performance additive materials deliver enhanced strength, performance, and reliability in a broad range of thermoset and thermoplastic applications. The new graphene materials can increase the toughness of plastics by up to 2.5 times without a significant weight increase. They can also double thermal conductivity and push the electrical conductivity of plastics into the anti-static and static-dissipative ranges.
Learn more.


Desktop Metal launches 316L stainless steel for manufacturing using its Shop System

Desktop Metal has qualified the use of 316L stainless steel for its Shop System, the world's first metal binder jetting system designed specifically for machine shops and manufacturing environments. With an expanded materials portfolio, users can now leverage affordable, high-quality binder jetting technology to print end-use parts in 316L stainless steel with throughput, print quality, and productivity unattainable via legacy additive manufacturing processes. Real-world application use cases and performance figures are provided.
Learn more.


Wilson's new 3D-printed pickleball paddles give players lots of options

Wilson Sporting Goods has partnered with 3D-printing company Azul 3D to create two new 3D-printed pickleball paddle designs that aim to change the way the popular sport is played: a quiet paddle and a fully customizable one. They represent a shift in paddle design and in how products can be completely re-thought through additive manufacturing.
Read the full article.


Did you know you can tint chrome?

Push the boundaries of design. SRG Global, a leading manufacturer of chrome-plated and painted plastic parts for the automotive, commercial truck, and household appliance industries, has introduced its G-Coat tint-over-chrome process solution. G-Coat delivers distinct metallic surface finishes for both exterior and interior applications and regularly improves paint adhesion to any chrome-plated plastic part. It offers nearly unlimited custom color options, including a high-optical-density deep black finish not achievable by other technologies. The process also provides enhanced corrosion protection and fingerprint resistance and meets multiple automotive OEM performance standards for basecoat and clear-coat paint systems.
Learn more.


Micro molding material selection and design concerns

Design engineers can create the most incredible parts using the micro molding process, but any design at the micro scale (ranging in size from just microns to a half inch) requires careful attention to things that might not be a big deal for larger parts. This article by Aaron Johnson from Accumold focuses on important issues concerning material choice.
Read the full article.


Xometry launches instant quoting for binder jet 3D printing of metals

Xometry, a leading AI-enabled marketplace for on-demand manufacturing, has just announced the availability of instant quoting on metal binder jetting in its Instant Quoting Engine. The parts will be made through Xometry's partner ExOne, an industry-leading metal 3D-printing company. Metal binder jetting is a 3D-printing technology used to make complex metal parts with excellent mechanical properties. Machines bond layers of metal powder together with a binding agent before final sintering in a furnace. It can produce metal parts at a fraction of the cost of other methods with virtually no design limitations.
Learn all about this exciting 3D-printing tech.


Bring production-ready nylon 3D printing to your benchtop

Formlabs has released the world's first benchtop industrial selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printer, the Fuse 1, along with Fuse Sift (a post-processing system for the Fuse 1) and Nylon 12 and Nylon 11 powders. SLS technology has long been trusted by engineers and large manufacturers for its ability to print strong, functional prototypes and end-use parts, but its high cost and complex workflow have historically confined access to big companies. The Fuse 1 and Fuse Sift improve on the unique advantages offered by SLS while bringing it within reach for companies of all sizes and types through affordability and ease of use.
Learn more.


New cast urethane materials and finishes

Xometry has added new urethane resins and finishes as options for quick and affordable low- to mid-volume production. Urethane casting is used to make end-use, highly durable parts with robust mechanical properties. It is considered a "soft-tooled" process, where a silicone mold is formed around a master pattern -- usually 3D printed. Xometry has materials in two main durometer classes, rigid (Shore D) and rubber-like (Shore A). Finishes include matte/frosted, semi-gloss, high-gloss, and custom.
Read this informative Xometry blog.
Get the Xometry Urethane Casting Design Guide.


3D Printing: Desktop Metal qualifies 316L stainless steel for high-volume manufacturing -- thousands of parts per week

3D-printer machine maker Desktop Metal has qualified the use of 316L stainless steel for its additive manufacturing platform called the Production System, which provides some of the fastest build speeds in the market for mass production and can make thousands of parts per week. This article includes very useful cost-per-part and time-to-manufacture information using five different application examples.
Read the full article.


New metal 3D-printing materials include Inconel, titanium, and maraging steel at Xometry

Xometry has added four new 3D-printed metals to its on-demand manufacturing services: maraging steel, Inconel 625, Inconel 718, and titanium. These premium alloys complement the already available stainless steel and aluminum metal 3D printing. Metal parts in these alloys are produced using direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), which fuses powdered metal with a high-powered laser to build parts layer by layer.
Learn all about these materials in this Xometry blog.


Ultramid Advanced grades now available with carbon-fiber reinforcement

BASF has expanded its polyphthal-amide (PPA) portfolio of Ultramid Advanced with carbon-fiber reinforced grades. With fillings of 20%, 30%, and 40% carbon fiber, these new materials make extremely lightweight parts, safely replace aluminum and magnesium without loss in stiffness and strength, and are electrically conductive. They can be used to manufacture automotive structural parts for body, chassis, and powertrain; for pumps, fans, gears, and compressors in industrial applications; and as stable and ultra-lightweight components in consumer electronics.
Learn more.


Gummy metals cut better when marked with Sharpie or glue -- researchers figuring out why

It was back in 2018 that researchers from Purdue University first announced results of their deep dive into finding ways to make gummy metals such as aluminum, stainless steels, nickel, copper, and tantalum easier to cut. They found that first marking the metals with certain common substances -- like a Sharpie marker or glue -- can make big improvements. Now they are figuring out why.

Their ongoing research and its results may help in manufacturing products and reducing component failures.

The application of a permanent marker, glue, or adhesive makes gummy metals such as aluminum, stainless steels, copper and tantalum much easier to cut for industrial applications. [Credit: Purdue University/Erin Easterling]

 

 

 

 

The researchers previously showed that marking the metal surface to be machined with ink or an adhesive dramatically reduced the force of cutting, leaving a clean cut in seconds.

One well-known way to make the gummy metal brittle is by coating it with a suitable liquid metal, such as gallium in the case of aluminum. Liquid metals like these, however, tend to work too well; diffusing through the surface and causing the whole metal to crumble into a powder.

"This makes the metal being machined unusable," said Srinivasan Chandrasekar, Purdue professor of industrial engineering.

Attempts using other types of applied media met with limited success and tended to be either toxic or result in tears and cracks on the machined surface. The researchers then began to explore other benign chemical media that would cut cleaner.


VIDEO: Everyday permanent markers, glue sticks, packing tape, and common alcohols may offer a surprisingly low-tech solution to a long-standing nuisance in the manufacturing industry: Making soft and ductile, or so-called "gummy" metals, easier to cut. [Credit: Purdue University]

Eventually, they found that marking with ink or attaching any adhesive on the metal's surface dramatically reduced the force of cutting without the whole metal falling apart, leaving a clean cut in seconds. The quality of the machined surface also greatly improved.

Then the team started asking why, and they found an answer.

"Gummy metals characteristically deform in a very wiggly manner," said Chandrasekar back in 2018. "This wiggly flow involves significant energy consumption, which means that these metals require more force to machine than even some hard metals. We needed to find a way to suppress this wiggly flow."

Getting rid of the wiggles means that the metal tends to act more like a brittle ceramic or glass in the spot where it needs to be cut. Using a thin coating of ink or an adhesive did the trick. [Editor's Note: Please watch the video. There is a section in it -- from 1 min. 30 sec. on -- that demonstrates this.]

Purdue researchers have discovered a simple solution for cutting soft gummy metals (left) -- which tend to "bunch up" or "wriggle" when cut -- just as cleanly and easily as hard metals (right). [Credit: Purdue University image/Anirudh Udupa]

 

 

 

 

In a 2019 update, the researchers used common alcohols on an aluminum surface and were able to cut the metal more easily, with at least 50% less force, and produce a smoother end surface with fewer cracks and tears compared with aluminum without the alcohol treatment.

Overall, they determined, each metal system requires a specific designer agent (the name for a variety of chemicals used in metals processing), since alcohols do not interact with other metals in the same way as they do with aluminum.

Now, the Purdue team is working on how these films and designer agents produce the effect.

"We have found that you only need the organic film from the markers or glue to be one molecule thick for it to work," said Chandrasekar in his latest update. "This ultra-thin film helps achieve smoother, cleaner, and faster cuts than current machining processes. It also reduces the cutting forces and energy, and improves the outcomes for manufacturing across industries such as biomedical, energy, defense, and aerospace."

The latest research was published in Science Advances in Dec. 2020. The study involves a collaboration between researchers at Purdue, Osaka University (Japan), and the Indian Institute of Science (India). The research is supported by the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Energy.

The researchers found, using organic monolayer films created by molecular self-assembly, that the molecule chain length and its adsorption to the metal surface are key to realizing these improvements. By using the "right" organic molecules, the metal is locally embrittled -- resulting in improved machining.

"We are also learning through our discovery more about how environmental factors influence failure of metals," said Anirudh Udupa, a lead author on the study and a researcher in Purdue's School of Industrial Engineering. "As we decipher how the organic molecular films improve the machinability of these metals, the better also is our understanding of common environment-assisted failures in metals, such as stress-corrosion cracking, hydrogen embrittlement, and liquid metal embrittlement."


VIDEO: Improving metal cutting with organic monolayers. [Credit: Purdue Univeristy]

The researchers are looking for partners to continue developing their technology. For more information on licensing and other opportunities, contact Purdue's Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) at otcip@prf.org and mention track code 2019-CHAN-68634.

Source: Purdue University

Published June 2021

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