● 3D Systems and HII have jointly developed the CuNi30 to be able to produce traditional castings, with a 75% reduced production time
● Direct copper-nickel printing (CuNi30) achieves an average relative density of 99.88%, a significant improvement over molding
● The material will be commercialized to meet the current need for alternatives to CuNi molding in the naval, offshore oil and gas, chemical and nuclear sectors
3D Systems announces the arrival on the market of CuNi30, a corrosion-resistant copper-nickel alloy, for use with its DMP Flex 350 metal 3D printer. This material is the result of his collaboration with HII's Newport News Shipbuilding division, which aimed to develop materials and parameters adapted to additive manufacturing technology by laser fusion on powder bed. The expertise of both companies has made possible the development of the CuNi30 and allows Newport News Shipbuilding to use additive manufacturing instead of its traditional molding technologies. The direct printing of CuNi30 parts responds to Newport News Shipbuilding's demand for space-saving and easy-to-combine equipment. This improves supply chain efficiency by reducing delivery times by 75% and reducing inventory costs.
Copper-nickel alloys are commonly used in salt water, petroleum and acidic environments due to their excellent corrosion resistance and antimicrobial and anti-algae properties that allow them to resist algae growth even with prolonged exposure to water. CuNi30 is often used to manufacture pipe fittings and valves in the naval sector (especially in the construction and repair of ships), the offshore oil and gas industry, the chemical industry and the nuclear industry. These alloys also have stable mechanical, physical and thermal properties (from 400 °C to -270 °C) that make them suitable for cryogenic applications. Difficult to cast, CuNi alloys often require expensive take-back and re-inspection cycles to meet quality standards. Production times are therefore very long and few suppliers have the capacity and the will to produce quality equipment. HII has identified the significant potential offered by additive manufacturing provided it can qualify the DMP material, material and process for its production components. It is with this goal in mind that the company has partnered with 3D Systems.
" 3D Systems has earned a reputation as a trusted partner in the areas of advanced R&D and commercialization of new additive manufacturing materials and applications ," said Dr. Michael Shepard, Vice President, Aerospace and Defense Segment, 3D Systems. " We have been working for decades with the U.S. Navy to innovate in areas such as aircraft parts and submersible components. Our latest project with Newport News Shipbuilding led to the development of a copper-nickel alloy specifically designed for additive manufacturing, which achieves better part density and mechanical properties compared to traditional molding. We look forward to seeing how direct metal printing and the CuNi30 can accelerate Newport News Shipbuilding's workflows and innovation efforts. »
" We have reached an important milestone in the development of a CuNi alloy in collaboration with 3D Systems ," said Dave Bolcar, vice president of engineering and design for Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of HII. " Several years of research and development, in partnership with 3D Systems, culminated earlier this year in the development of a Corrosion Performance-Based Design Guide for direct printing in a nickel-based alloy. We look forward to extending the parameter development efforts we have made with 3D Systems to other alloys of particular interest in our industry. These developments allow us to go even further in the use of additive manufacturing in our platforms to bring additional benefits to our customers in terms of quality, timing and performance. »
3D Systems intends to add CuNi30 to its portfolio of innovative materials to enable other industries to produce corrosion-resistant parts through direct metal printing. This material is expected to be marketed in the fourth quarter of 2022.