Meltio, an international manufacturer of metal 3D solutions based in Spain and the United States, has announced that it is launching four new materials, 17-4PH stainless steel, H11 tool steel, nickel 625 and invar. , as part of its range of metallic threads. These materials have been designed to help their users expand their applications, as they have been optimized for use with Meltio solutions. This initiative not only demonstrates the maturity of Meltio's LMD technology, but it should also drive the adoption of metal 3D printing .
At the beginning of the year, Meltio launched its first range of materials. These have been designed to be optimized for use with the manufacturer's own solutions, namely the Meltio M450 3D printer, the Meltio Engine CNC Integration and the Meltio Engine Robotic Integration, products that have already been adopted by major industry players, including Phillips Corporation.
Although the company has kept an open materials system, Meltio's own solutions have been extensively tested under controlled conditions. The goal is to provide validated part properties and optimized print settings. The first series focused on the common metals used with Meltio's technology, namely 316L Stainless Steel, 308L Stainless Steel, ER70S Mild Steel, Titanium 64 and Nickel 718. With this latest release, the company aims to meet the needs of an even wider audience and enable more specialized applications.
For materials development, Meltio has focused on metal wire since its systems use a technology called “ laser metal deposition ” (LMD). It is a process of deposition under concentrated energy(DED), which means that a focused energy source, in this case multiple lasers, is used to melt the deposited material as it passes through the nozzle. This process has grown in popularity in recent years due to its flexibility and the advantages of using wires over powder. They are notably safer, cleaner and easier to handle than many powders, and are often considered sustainable, which is a plus considering that additive manufacturing in general is being touted as a way to address concerns growing environmental.
What should we expect from the new materials from Meltio?
The choice to develop these four materials in particular was driven by user interest, with Meltio choosing those most in demand by its customer base. The objective was to offer printing profiles optimized for the manufacturer's 3D printers. With this, print failures are reduced, the printing process facilitated and users are able to have guaranteed part properties, a critical need in industries with high demands.
Indeed, of the four materials chosen, three are ideal for aerospace applications. Meltio SS17-4PH exhibits much higher hardness than previous offerings along with excellent corrosion resistance and mechanical properties. It is a commonly used stainless steel and it would allow users to turn to additive manufacturing in the oil and gas, aerospace, energy and defense sectors.
Meanwhile, Meltio ToolSteelH11 is a chromium-based steel used for tool steels due to its impact resistance. It is often used for hot tooling as well as aerospace applications. Meltio Invar is also ideal for use in aerospace. Indeed, it has an extremely low coefficient of expansion, from -250°C to about 200°C. In simple terms this means that it does not expand when heated, making it a suitable choice for high temperature applications including aerospace of course, but also measuring equipment and molds.
Finally, the last material is Meltio Nickel 625. According to the company, it is a nickel-based superalloy that was chosen for its excellent mechanical properties in a wide range of temperatures. It also has good weldability. This is especially important for a DED solution, as this material is very useful for repairing components that operate at high temperatures or require increased corrosion protection.
What will be the next steps?
For now, it looks like Meltio is planning a further expansion of materials for its proprietary systems. Indeed, the company believes that by maintaining an open materials platform while having its own range of Meltio materials, users will be able to benefit from both, demonstrating the maturity of its own wireframe LMD technology. It also helps facilitate the adoption of metal 3D printing in a cost-effective and efficient way.
Ángel Llavero, CEO of Meltio, added: “ With the launch of these new Meltio materials, we want to strengthen our position as the leading equipment supplier in the DED field, which favors the use of powder welding wire because of its many advantages. We intend to continue to expand our selection based on our users' requests, while maintaining an open materials platform for those who want to push the boundaries and experiment with different materials .