The NanoSteel Co. (Providence, R.I.), a firm that specializes in nano-structured steel materials design, announced the expansion of the company's additive manufacturing (AM) material capabilities to support metal 3D printing of complex high-hardness parts and the ability to customize properties layer by layer through gradient material design.
The company leveraged its 2014 breakthrough in AM wear materials to print a bearing and impeller using the powder bed fusion process. These parts were measured to be fully dense and crack-free, with hardness levels >1000 HV. By delivering these properties in functional parts, NanoSteel takes a significant step in the development of metal powders that enable affordable, robust industrial components produced on-demand through the 3D printing process.
Building on this milestone, the company used a combination of high-hardness and ductile alloys to create a part featuring a gradient design. NanoSteel worked with the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology to generate part samples using freeform direct laser deposition. This single additive manufacturing process achieved a seamless transition between hard and ductile properties without subsequent heat treatment.