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Additive manufacturing Breakthrough in aluminum sintering for binder jetting technology
Additive manufacturing company Desktop Metal announced a breakthrough powder that enables aluminum sintering for binder jetting AM technology.
USA — The new powder offered by Desktop Metal promises to be a low-cost, raw material yielding fully dense, sinterable 6061 aluminum with greater than ten percent elongation and improved yield strength (YS) and ultimate tensile strength (UTS) versus wrought 6061 aluminum with comparable heat treatment.
This new powder enables the sintering of unadulterated 6061 aluminum and, according to the company, represents a significant improvement over prior techniques used to sinter aluminum, which required coating powder particles, mixing sintering aids into powder, using binders containing expensive nanoparticles, or adding metals such as lead, tin and magnesium. Critically, the powder also enables compatibility with water-based binders and has a higher minimum ignition energy (MIE) relative to other commercially available 6061 aluminum powders, resulting in an improved safety profile. Desktop Metal and Uniformity Labs plan to continue to work together over the coming year to qualify the powder and scale production for commercial release. Once fully qualified, Uniformity 6061 aluminum will be available for use with the Desktop Metal Production System platform, which is the only metal binder jetting solution with an inert, chemically inactive processing environment across the printer and auxiliary powder processing equipment, enabling customers to achieve consistent, high-quality material properties across volumes of end-use parts with reactive materials, such as aluminum.