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Rhenium as a possible 3D printing material?

Rhenium as a possible 3D printing material?

(Summary description)Darpa and Elementum 3D Printing have signed a new contract to fund research into rhenium as a 3D printing material. The aim is to use rhenium as a material, rather than just as an alloy, which currently contains about 6 per cent rhenium.

Rhenium as a possible 3D printing material?

(Summary description)Darpa and Elementum 3D Printing have signed a new contract to fund research into rhenium as a 3D printing material. The aim is to use rhenium as a material, rather than just as an alloy, which currently contains about 6 per cent rhenium.

Information

3D printing (additive manufacturing) is a type of rapid prototyping technology, which is based on a digital model file, using adhesive materials such as powder metal or plastic to construct objects by printing layer by layer. For now, however, the technology is limited in the types of metals it can handle, mostly those with lower melting points such as iron, aluminum and titanium.

Refractory metal powders such as tungsten, chromium and especially rhenium, which have a very high melting point, have long been difficult for 3D printing. But these refractory metals tend to have good temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, high hardness, low expansion coefficient and other characteristics, especially rhenium, 70 percent of the world's production is used in aerospace, used to make aviation jet engines, various industrial gas turbines, the hottest components.

Darpa and Elementum 3D Printing have signed a new contract to fund research into rhenium as a 3D printing material. The aim is to use rhenium as a material, rather than just as an alloy, which currently contains about 6 per cent rhenium.

The company has been focusing on improving the printing capabilities of metal 3D printing, especially laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) 3D printing technology. Considering that commercial rhenium is in powder form, laser powder bed fusion may be carried out in the future. If all goes well, the rhenium will be used much more efficiently.

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