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PyroGenesis, a manufacturer of spherical metal powders using patented plasma processes, has announced that its additive manufacturing materials are officially free-from tungsten.
Known as “the Devil particle,” tungsten is a contaminant of metal powders, causing imperfections and concurrent weakness in a 3D printed part. Tungsten contamination has caused catastrophic part failures in the past, and is a major concern for the aerospace industry.
Development - Powder - Production - Comments - P
“This is a significant development in powder production,” comments P. Peter Pascali, CEO & President of PyroGenesis, “What is noteworthy is that within a few short months of having been made aware of this problem, by significant players in the industry, PyroGenesis was able to find an answer.”
Nature of “the Devil Particle”
Tungsten - Point - Elements - Pierre - Carabin
Tungsten has the highest melting point of all discovered elements and, as Pierre Carabin, Chief Technology Officer of PyroGenesis, explains, “Since the melting point of tungsten is higher than that of titanium, it does not melt during the AM printing process.”
The result, then, is a cluster of solid tungsten particles within an otherwise conformal 3D printed titanium part.
Tungsten - Inclusions - Carbin - Sites - Crack
“Tungsten inclusions,” adds Carbin, “can become preferred sites for crack initiation. This has led to catastrophic failures and is clearly unacceptable, particularly in the aerospace industry.”
Also the heaviest known element, tungsten has exceptional hardness and high density, making it a valuable ingredient in alloys used to make military armaments. It is used to make filament in light...
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