01 January 2018 – 01 April 2021
3D printing of metals is gaining a growing importance in the industry during recent years. This technology, specifically known as additive manufacturing (AM), is based on the rapid melting of the metallic powder and on its solidification into the desired forms by focussed lasers or electron beams. The feedstock materials are made by sophisticated powders of metallic alloys that require complex processes to be manufactured and handled, they are very expensive and still not specifically tuned to the printing processes.
The solution (technology)
The project is aimed at providing a technological basis for the production of more sustainable novel steel powders specifically developed for AM processes, which will cut costs (the use of water atomization plants will lead to a reduction of more than 80% of the investment costs so that feedstock powder will potentially be available on the market at a cost of around 30% the current prices), will reduce European dependence on critical raw materials and boost EU producers competitiveness. Issues about the careful use of critical materials (Cr is reduced by more than 80%, Ni is totally removed, significantly lower amounts of Mo are used in the new proposed steels), about improving the sustainability of the powder production processes and about recyclability of the materials are faced, up a technological readiness level of 8.
The introduction into the market of the two new powders for structural applications will be carried out by the industrial partner Höganäs, who will gain a market advantage, especially over low labour-cost, extra-European competitors. End-user partners who are putting their main interest on the automotive market will have the opportunity of developing by the proposed innovation two demonstrators: a suspension knuckle for cars and a die for the sheet forming of automotive parts.
- Politecnico di Milano, Italy (Lead partner)
- Centro Ricerche Fiat S.C.p.A. (CRF – C.R.F.), Italy
- Certema S.C.A.R.L., Italy
- Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. (Fraunhofer), Germany
- Gestamp Hardtech AB, Sweden
- Höganäs AB, Sweden
- IMR Metal Powder Technologies GmbH, Austria
- Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Sweden