Uniformity Labs, Fremont, California, USA, has announced the availability of its ultra-low porosity 17-4PH stainless steel powder jet UniJet™ SS17-4PH Performance for the Desktop Metal Production System. The qualified powder is reported to deliver double the green strength of existing stainless steel powders, due to its uniform powder bed layering.
UniJet 17-4PH is also reported to result in an average of 20% less shrinkage than other stainless steel powders qualified for use on the Desktop Metal machine. These factors are said to result in better-sintered part geometric accuracy and less breakage of green and brown parts during post-build handling and depowdering, resulting in high process yield at high throughput.
“The application of Uniformity UniJet 17-4 PH stainless steel for BJT delivers mechanical and process excellence for our customers who require materials that perform to the highest standards across each step of the production process,” said Adam Hopkin, Uniformity founder and CEO. “Our powders deliver superior mechanical properties, printing yield, and process stability, delivering repeatable production scale Binder Jetting.”
One advantage noted by the company is the improved apparent and tapped densities of UniJet 17-4PH, resulting in green parts with more contact points between particles and higher density (10% reduction in relative porosity) than standard Binder Jetting powders. This enables green parts with reportedly twice the magnitude of transverse rupture strength across all layer thicknesses. Such green parts, alongside the very high flowability of Uniformity powder, result in the fabrication of more complex thin-walled or heavier green parts with larger aspect ratios viable by minimising breakage during the de-powdering of large, high aspect ratio and geometrically complex parts with fine features and channels.
Uniformity’s UniJet 17-4PH powder on the Production System is said to have consistently achieved about 25% less shrinkage in X, 19% less shrinkage in Y, and almost 20% less shrinkage in Z axes than the standard Binder Jetting powder across all layer thicknesses. The powder repeatably delivers 99-100% final part density. UniJetTM 17-4PH powder yielded parts with, on average, three-times lower standard deviation in green density than standard binder jetting powder.
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The highly flowable powder is said to improve throughput by allowing repeatable fast layering at thicker layers. At 75 µm layer thickness and with 20% reduced shrinkage (allowing more parts fit on the bed), a net throughput benefit of approximately 25% relative to standard Binder Jetting powders for the Desktop Metal machine enables further cost reduction for parts manufacturers. At 110 µm layer thickness – still delivering improvements in green strength, uniformity of powder bed, and sintered density relative to standard inert gas atomised Binder Jetting powders printing at 65 µm layer thickness – the throughput improvement is over 80%.
“Desktop Metal is delighted to offer this highly advanced 17-4 PH stainless steel powder from Uniformity Labs for our Production System platform,” added Ric Fulop, founder and CEO of Desktop Metal. “This latest addition to our material portfolio allows us to binder jet 17-4 PH stainless steel materials critical to producing complex designs. Binder Jetting powders processed with Uniformity Labs technology enables unmatched mechanical properties and can further improve the economics of printing. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the Uniformity team.”
Shri Shetty, CEO of Zeda and a partner of Uniformity Labs, stated, “This is not the first time we’ve partnered together to develop materials, and Uniformity’s powders have a history of exhibiting superior mechanical properties and higher machine productivity, which will help us further our mission to build things better together in the medical device industry.”