Kennametal Inc., Pittsburgh, has formed a 3D printing materials and production business unit, Kennametal Additive Manufacturing, as part of its Infrastructure segment. The new business unit, which is already shipping production parts to customers, combines the company’s experience in materials science and wear-resistant solutions with additive manufacturing capabilities to supply high-performance metal additive powders and fully finished 3D printed parts for wear, erosion, corrosion, and high temperature applications.
“Kennametal Additive Manufacturing combines our recognized expertise in wear materials, such as tungsten carbide and Kennametal Stellite, with the advantages of 3D printing—design flexibility, shorter development cycles and reduced lead times,” said Ron Port, vice president of Kennametal Inc. and president, infrastructure business segment. “We are focused on high-growth potential additive solutions, and this new business unit is advancing both what we make and how we make it, so we can produce better parts, faster and more efficiently, for our customers.”
According to Kennametal, it has been leveraging 3D printing materials and processes within its existing businesses for some time to manufacture prototype components and cutting tools. In a statement, it said the new Kennametal Additive Manufacturing business builds on these capabilities to offer comprehensive 3D printing solutions, from raw material to finished part. The company’s gas atomization powder production capabilities supply cobalt, nickel, and iron powders optimized for specific additive manufacturing processes. At its R&D, pilot production and prototyping center in Latrobe, Pa., the business utilizes laser powder bed and binder jet printing technologies, combined with post-print processing capabilities, including sintering, hot isostatic pressing and machining, to produce fully finished components.
The business unit is led by Sherri McCleary, director, additive manufacturing business, who brings 30 years of materials science and business development expertise to the role. Kennametal Additive Manufacturing has already shipped its first production parts to customers in the oil and gas and power industries. These high-performance wear components include parts printed with powders specifically designed and optimized for 3D printing, including Kennametal KAC89 tungsten carbide and Stellite 6 AM, a wear resistant cobalt-chrome alloy.