The NanoSteel® Company (Providence, RI) has announced the expansion of its additive manufacturing (AM) material capabilities to support metal 3D printing of complex high-hardness parts and the ability to customize properties layer-by-layer through gradient material design. The company leveraged its 2014 breakthrough in AM wear materials to print a bearing and impeller using the powder bed fusion process. These parts were measured to be fully dense and crack-free, with hardness levels >1000 HV.
Building on this milestone, the company used a combination of high-hardness and ductile alloys to create a part featuring a gradient design. NanoSteel worked with Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology to generate part samples using freeform direct laser deposition. This single additive manufacturing process achieved a seamless transition between the hard and ductile properties without subsequent heat treatment. These gradient material designs offer the equivalent of “digital case hardening™” —delivering impact resistance and overall robustness in addition to high hardness and wear resistance in a single part.
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