Our Materials and Where They are Used in Metal 3D Printing
Updated: Oct 18, 2021
We have four materials running full-time in our machines. They are Stainless Steel 316L, Stainless Steel 15-5ph, Inconel 718 and Titanium 64. We have offered Aluminium but there hasn’t been a high enough demand to run this full-time and we will review this in 2021.
The materials and their uses:
Stainless Steel 15-5ph provides high strength and is an aircraft grade stainless. While its non-corrosive properties aren't as good as 316L, it makes up for it in other areas. It is stronger so you can use less material when designing your parts to achieve the same goal. Used in aerospace, oil & gas, fittings & fasteners and custom bicycles. It’s machinable and weldable; it can be heat treated to give results from 33HRC to 46 HRC.
Stainless Steel 316L is well-known for its non-corrosive properties, but it also has good mechanical properties and handles heat well. It is used in marine, food preparation, dairy, oil and gas applications. It is relatively easy to machine and can be welded.
Inconel 718 is classed as a super-alloy; it has excellent properties for high temperature high strength applications. It's well known for its use in jet engines but also has many other applications in the aerospace industry. It has great non-corrosive properties too, which makes it suitable to chemical processing equipment and oil & gas. While Inconel 718 can be welded, it can be difficult to machine.
It can also be heat treated.
Titanium Ti-6Al-4V (Grade 5) speaks for itself. It has an excellent strength to weight ratio which is why it’s so popular in aircraft and the motorsport industry. It is also highly non-corrosive and bio-compatible which is why it is used for medical implants. Titanium lends itself well to those high performance applications where you need to get more from less. It's machinable and weldable; specific processes need to be followed though, to avoid issues.
Aluminium (AlSi10Mg) Is generally thought of as a casting grade Aluminium, however, it lends itself well to the metal 3D printing process. Like most grades of Aluminium, it’s light and easy to post process. It’s used in aerospace, automotive, automation, electronics and architectural applications.
Download our material specs sheet here