It follows the qualification of 15 materials earlier this year.
This third-party qualification means ExOne’s 22nd available material meets the company’s highest designation of material readiness for its metal 3D printers. The Inconel 718 nickel-based alloy was previously registered as an R&D material, meaning it was deemed ready for use by researchers, but with ASTM’s approval, it is now Third-Party Qualified. ExOne’s second level of readiness is Customer-Qualified, meaning materials have been judged to meet the standards of the customer and can be used for their desired applications.
All 22 available materials have met either the Customer-Qualified or Third-Party Qualified standards, with ExOne determined to be able to reach this level of readiness swiftly based on demand. ExOne’s latest release is frequently used in the aerospace, energy and automotive industries because of its high-strength, hardness, and strong resistance to corrosion, chemicals and extreme temperatures from sub-zero to 1300°F. It is often applied for applications in jet engines and underwater appliances, as well as tooling components.
Key to the certification of the Inconel 718 material are ExOne’s patented Triple ACT technology which helps to spread and compact fine powders, and ultimately enables ExOne to process more materials with its metal binder jet platforms, and the company’s proprietary CleanFuse binder. CleanFuse is a clean-burning binder for metals that are sensitive to carbon left behind by other binder agents during sintering.
These developments have helped to open up ExOne to an array of new materials and its customers to new applications. While the company is now able to offer 22 materials to commercial customers, there are several dozen more in the R&D phase. ExOne is hoping to move through the certification phases at quicker and quicker speeds with aluminium currently being fast-tracked.
“Today’s qualification of Inconel 718, following on the heels of M2 Tool Steel earlier this year, shows the ExOne R&D team is aggressively delivering new materials for binder jet 3D printing,” commented Rick Lucas, ExOne CTO and VP, New Markets. “Our increasing pace of material qualifications is a testament to the strength of our new metal 3D printer systems equipped with Triple ACT, an advanced compaction technology that is essential for binder jetting metals and other materials at high speeds and densities.”
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