The partnership will focus on the development of two metal matrix composites. Cemented carbide (WC-Co) is a hard and tough material which can be used to manufacture cutting tools and wear-resistant parts, while copper-tungsten (CuW) is a suitable material for parts that require high heat resistance, high electrical and thermal conductivity, and low thermal expansion.
ExOne believes the speed of its binder jetting technology makes it already an ideal option for the serial production of metal components, but the availability of new materials will make it an even more suitable process.
“Metal 3D printing using our exclusive approach to binder jetting has exciting and significant consequences for a variety of manufacturers, including those who make parts with cemented carbide and other tungsten composites,” offered Tim Pierce, ExOne Vice President of Metal Commercial Products. “Our latest development collaboration with GTP will help advance the materials necessary to deliver on the vision of producing these parts faster, with less waste and more geometric design freedom.”
GTP, meanwhile, highlights the potential time and cost savings that additive manufacturing would bring. The company is also set to offer a 3D printing and sintering service for cemented carbide parts using an ExOne Innovent platform.
“Binder jetting is the 3D printing method of choice for serial production of hard metal parts. Traditionally, tungsten carbide powder is pressed into the desired shape and then sintered to give it strength and density. Instead of costly and timely mould construction, the parts now can be printed directly in the desired shape, still using sintering technology to achieve the final strength,” said Deborah West, Vice President Business Unit Refractory & Specialty Powders, GTP. “As a market leader in the development and production of high-quality tungsten powders, GTP always stays on top of the latest technology. We are excited to work with ExOne in the development of cutting-edge technology for the additive manufacturing industry.”