OTTAWA -- TRUMPF is working with Equispheres Inc. to qualify its aluminum additive manufacturing powders on TRUMPF 3D printers. Equispheres offers three lines of AlSiMg10 powders optimized for laser powder-bed fusion manufacturing systems. TRUMPF reports positive initial results using Equispheres powders and expects to complete the qualification process early next year.
“TRUMPF’s engineering team is working to determine the optimum parameters for faster production of aluminum parts with Equispheres’ powders. This will allow customers to reduce production costs for 3D printed parts and opens the door for more broad adoption of additive production in global manufacturing,” said Thomas Bloor, head of global business development for Equispheres.
Once the qualification process is complete for Equispheres powders, the company will be recognized as one of TRUMPF’s recommended powder suppliers and the materials will be supported by applications engineers at both Equispheres and TRUMPF.
“Equispheres’ powders have the potential to support faster build rates than some other aluminum feedstocks. To help our 3D printing customers reduce part costs and make the move into mass production, we are developing optimized processing parameters for Equispheres’ high-quality metal powders,” said Severin Luzius, head of application, materials and consulting AM at TRUMPF.
TRUMPF describes itself as a pioneer in metal additive manufacturing. Its TruPrint additive manufacturing systems deliver high standards of quality and productivity at attractive part costs. In this collaboration, Equispheres contributes its knowledge of powder metallurgy and applications engineering expertise related to the specific characteristics of its aluminum powders.
“This will be a significant step forward for our material. For part manufacturers to receive the maximum benefit from our superior feedstock, processing parameters must be adjusted,” said Bloor. “TRUMPF’s qualification work will give users of TRUMPF equipment a productivity and cost advantage when using Equispheres aluminum powders.”
In 2021, Equispheres brought online additional high-speed commercial reactors to produce its proprietary, patent-pending, spherical aluminum powders. The company is working with partners in the automotive, aerospace and defense sectors to qualify its materials for industrial applications. Third-party testing has demonstrated Equispheres’ high-performance aluminum powders can print three to five times faster than traditional powders and achieve part cost reductions of 50 percent, enabling metal 3D printing to compete economically with traditional manufacturing processes.
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