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Materials for AM tooling

Material selection for the production of injection moulding tooling by Additive Manufacturing As one of the first major markets for metal additively manufactured products, the importance of the tooling industry has long been recognised. There is still, however, limited information available on what mechanical properties can be expected for the various materials used. This report by Harish Irrinki, Brenton Barmore, Kunal H Kate and Sundar V Atre reviews the published data on various steel powders and processing conditions as well as the mechanical properties that have been obtained using the Selective Laser Melting process.

The manufacture of tooling for injection moulding is a key business sector that has a significant impact on overall costs and lead times in the product development cycle. Long production lead times, design constraints and the need to cut manufacturing costs have driven the injection moulding industry to look to new technologies for fabricating moulding tooling. Among the various innovative processes for the production of tooling, the Selective Laser Melting (SLM) process has the potential to address many of the challenges faced by the tooling industry. The SLM process is capable of producing defect-free parts from a variety of steel materials as well as offering the unique ability to introduce conformal cooling. However, it is important for a tooling design engineer to know the material options and corresponding process parameters to examine the suitability of the SLM process in order to obtain mechanical properties that

Vol. 2 No. 2 Š 2016 Inovar Communications Ltd

may compare well with conventional handbook data. To this end, this article reviews the published data on various steel powders and processing conditions as well as the mechanical properties that have been obtained using the SLM process.

a)

The current status of the injection moulding industry Injection moulding is a $170 billion global industry for the manufacture of a multitude of consumer products [1]. In 2010 alone the US plastics industry produced an estimated 7 billion kg

b)

Fig. 1 Injection moulds manufactured using the SLM process (a) Maraging steel mould (Courtesy I3DMFG) (b) 17-4 PH stainless steel mould (Courtesy Materials Innovation Guild)

Metal Additive Manufacturing | Summer 2016

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Profile for Inovar Communications

Metal AM Summer 2016  

In addition to over 40 pages of the latest industry news, this issue of Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine includes the following exclusi...

Metal AM Summer 2016  

In addition to over 40 pages of the latest industry news, this issue of Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine includes the following exclusi...

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