Global engineering company Renishaw is collaborating with Sandvik Additive Manufacturing to qualify new additive manufacturing (AM) materials for production applications. This encompasses a broad range of metal powders, including new alloy compositions that are optimized for the laser powder-bed fusion (LPBF) process and which provide superior material properties.
Sandvik has one of the widest alloys program for additive manufacturing on the market – and has worked with Renishaw AM systems since 2018 at its Additive Manufacturing Division. During this time, the two companies have worked together to develop process parameters for a range of Sandvik metal powders, including stainless and maraging steels, and the latest Osprey® nickel-based superalloys. Sandvik has recently inaugurated a state-of-the-art titanium atomiser and powder processing facility and will now turn its focus to qualifying these alloys for industrial and medical applications.
“With our 157-year materials knowledge, our comprehensive range of in-house steels, duplex and super-duplex stainless steels, as well as nickel-based alloys and our new titanium powders, Sandvik now offers the widest range of AM materials to the market under the Osprey® brand,” says Mikael Schuisky, VP R&D and Operations at Sandvik Additive Manufacturing. “Renishaw’s open machines have enabled us to rapidly optimize process parameters for our alloys for use in many different applications.”
This parameter development work has highlighted opportunities to make small but important changes to the composition of Sandvik alloys, whilst remaining within the relevant ASTM specification, to optimise the mechanical properties of LPBF components. Examples of this include a maraging steel with enhanced strength and hardness, and a crack-free Osprey® HX nickel superalloy.
“Much of the innovation in AM in the next few years will come from the pairing of enhanced machine performance with improved alloys,” explained Stephen Crownshaw, AM Business Manager at Renishaw. “Better alloys mean better material properties, enabling AM components that are even more efficient and cost-effective. The consistency of Renishaw’s latest AM systems, combined with Sandvik’s material expertise, provides tremendous opportunities to advance AM processes and to make a stronger business case for AM.”
As well as qualifying materials for sale to other manufacturers, Sandvik Additive Manufacturing has developed a range of additive production applications.
“AM is transforming the manufacturing landscape, with better materials and equipment being the driving forces behind that change,” said Mikael Schuisky. “Sandvik’s unique end-to-end process knowledge – spanning raw materials, powder production, additive manufacturing and post-processing methods such as machining – puts us in the ideal position to help manufacturers and customers to exploit this exciting technology. Renishaw’s latest quad laser systems also help us to extract AM’s full potential.”