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3D-Printing (Additive manufacturing)

PROCESS DESCRIPTION

Today's processes for the additive manufacture of metals can be classified according to material feed and energy source:

Energy source

 

Material feed

Laser beam

Electron beam

Arc /
Plasma beam

Powder bed

     

Powder spraying

     

Wire feed

     

 

Powder bed

The most well-known processes today work with a powder bed. In this case, powder layers are generated coat by coat and the component melted in layers. Only a laser or electron beam can be used as an energy source here. Consequently, this is referred to as LBM (Laser Beam Melting) or EBM (Electron Beam Melting).

 

Powder spraying

A carrier gas is required for powder spraying, so using an electron beam as an energy source is not possible. Powder spraying with a laser beam is already in use for additive manufacture under the name LMD (Laser Metal Deposition).   

The use of an arc in the form of a plasma beam has been known as plasma powder deposition welding for many years in the field of coating. There are also efforts in additive manufacturing to use this process.

 

Wire feed

Additive manufacturing processes with wire feed can fundamentally be used with all energy sources mentioned. However, up to now these methods have seldom been found in industrial use.  

MESSER SOLUTION

Messer supplies shielding gases for 3D-printing. The choice of gas depends essentially on the material to be printed.

Material

Suitable components for shielding gas mixtures

Titanium

Argon, Helium

Aluminium

Argon, Helium, Nitrogen

Austenitic steel,
Nickel

Argon, Helium, Nitrogen, Hydrogen

Ferritic steel

Argon, Helium, Nitrogen

Further material information available on request.

 

Advantages:

  • Suitable for small batches and prototype construction  
  • Complicated components can be made in small batches cost-effectively  
  • Rapid construction of complicated components