Alloys Optimized for Additive Manufacturing
QuesTek has designed and demonstrated several novel alloys optimized for Additive Manufacturing that exhibit significant improvements in performance over legacy alloys. Contact us to learn more!
QuesTek's Alloys for Additive Manufacturing
Additively manufactured C64 single tooth bending fatigue gear samples
Ferrium C64 Steel
QuesTek's Ferrium® C64® steel exhibits high strength, high toughness, and high hardness and has been aerospace-qualified and adopted as a wrought material for demanding gear and transmission components. It has been successfully demonstrated in laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing equipment, and printed components have exhibited improved performance over additively manufactured 17-4PH, Maraging, and tool steels. Potential applications include rapid prototyping and short lead time gear fabrication, sustainment, and AM-enabled lightweighting, and tool and dies.
Details regarding additively manufactured C64 have been published, and are available here.
Oil pump demonstration component additively manufactured using QuesTek's high temperature aluminum alloy
High Temperature Aluminum
QuesTek's novel high-temperature aluminum alloy can be used in the as-built condition without heat treatment, while maintaining its performance at temperatures above 200°C. This alloy has an as-printed microstructure and optimized strengthening precipitate phase that remains stable after prolonged exposure at elevated temperature. Tests are ongoing, but there has been no relaxation in strength with exposure to 232°C for ~175 hours while maintaining a fixed strain level associated with the yield strength. This alloy may also be optionally aged to tailor the mechanical response.
High Strength Aluminum
Most existing aerospace grade aluminum alloys crack during the additive manufacturing process, while printable Al alloys have low strength. QuesTek's novel alloy combines printability with performance. It is based on traditional precipitation strengthening and does not use high cost alloying elements or ceramic particles. It prints easily, exceeds the strength and elongation of wrought 7050-T74, has superior general corrosion resistance and stress corrosion cracking resistance versus 7050.
QuesTek has adapted its patented cast titanium alloy into both laser powder bed and wire-feed (Norsk and Sciaky) processes. Manufactured components exhibit isotropic mechanical properties including high strength and ductility. These properties result from equiaxed microstructure which differs from the anisotropic microstructure (e.g. columnar grains) commonly observed in additively manufactured Ti-6Al-4V.
High Performance Stainless Steel
As more applications require corrosion resistance and high strength, stainless steels, like 17-4PH, are a natural choice to meets these demands. However, use of standard 17-4 feedstock powder requires extensive post-build processing to achieve performance requirements. QuesTek has developed an optimized 17-4 variant that demonstrates excellent strength and corrosion properties in both the as-built and direct-aged condition, eliminating expensive and time consuming post-build processing steps such as cryogenic treatments or high-temperature solution treatments.