ExOne expanding customer base with new 3D printable stainless steel

The ExOne Company, a global provider of binder jetting 3D printing systems, services and materials, has today released a new metal feedstock to help broaden the company’s potential customer base and applications.

Adding to an existing range high grade metal alloys, 17-4PH stainless steel metal powder has high hardness and corrosion resistance properties. It is typically used in aerospace, petroleum and chemical industries, reinforcing ExOne’s commitment to high-value engineering customers.

An architectural demonstration of metal 3D printed at ExOne. Photo via ExOne
An architectural demonstration of metal 3D printed at ExOne. Photo via ExOne

Stainless stability

17-4PH is composed, approximately, of 15% chromium and 3% nickel, 5% copper and lesser amounts of other minerals such as manganese and silicon. As with most structural alloys, including aluminium, nickel and titanium, parts made from 17-4PH are heat-treated to increase hardness. Treatment provided, the metal is then capable of withstanding temperatures up to 600 °F (316 °C) which is essential for structural stability.

The liquid binding advantage

ExOne has made the material specially for 3D printing using its proprietary binder jetting technology. In this process, parts are solidified from a metal powder by the addition of a liquid binder. Each layer is individually cured, giving the technique an advantage over others that would typically require curing at post-processing.

The unique technology was first developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and is commonly used to fuse gypsum sand in machines from the likes of voxeljet and 3D Systems.

To serial production

The material will be offered at ExOne’s Mid-Atlantic Production Service Center (PSC) in North Huntingdon, PA. The 13,000 square foot facility is a key provider of metal 3D printing services to ExOne customers that include the U.S. Navy and oil and gas drill-bit manufacturer Ulterra.

Tim Pierce, VP of Metal Commercial Products at ExOne, says, “We could not be more excited with the addition of 17-4PH to our suite of materials offerings. Given its unique characteristics, the availability of 17-4PH broadens our addressable market and potential customer base,”

“The applications are plentiful and we are ready to service our customers’ needs, from prototypes to serial production.”

Sample prints of 17-4PH will be on display at next week’s TCT expo in Birmingham. Sign up to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter for updates, and find us on Facebook/Twitter for exclusive content.

Featured image shows a metal 3D printed part from ExOne. Image via ExOne