Velo3D has announced that nickel-based alloy Hastelloy X has been qualified for use on its Sapphire metal 3D printer system.
A nickel-chromium-iron-molybdenum alloy, Hastelloy X possesses an exceptional combination of oxidation resistance, fabricability and high-temperature strength.
Most important is its ductility even after prolonged exposure to high temperatures (870°C) for 16,000 hours, which has caught the eye of gas turbine designers wanting to optimise designs using additive manufacturing.
A unicore of a 20-kilowatt microturbine engine being developed by Sierra Turbines has been 3D printed already as a proof of concept on a Velo3D Sapphire 3D printer.
Sierra Turbines aim to print 95 per cent of their engine through metal additive manufacturing, taking advantage of the added design freedom possible through Velo3D’s SupportFree process, which helps reduce the consideration of support structures for complex passageways, shallow overhangs and low angles.
“Sierra Turbines wants to lead aerial and power systems into a new way of manufacturing,” said founder and CEO Roger Smith.
“That means pushing the limits of what is possible to create a more heat-resistant, lower maintenance, and higher-performing gas microturbine. VELO3D’s technology makes this the ideal manufacturing solution for turbines.”
Hastelloy X joins Titanium64, Inconel 718 and Aluminum F357 as qualified for the Sapphire system.
“Power generation applications such as industrial gas turbines are a key focus for Velo3D so it is important that we qualify the right materials to serve that market,” states Velo3D CEO Benny Buller.
“We will continue to add more of these types of compatible materials that enable customers to print parts they couldn’t before, yet with even better material properties than those produced by traditional manufacturing.”