Special metals are often difficult and expensive to process. Nevertheless, refractory or precious metals are the optimal material for some applications due to their special properties, such as high heat resistance, corrosion resistance or good thermal conductivity. The specialists at Heraeus Additive Manufacturing have many years of process expertise to process these special metals into ready-to-use components and optimize them according to requirements. They use our EBM (electron beam melting) and SLM (selective laser melting) printers. Your advantages as a customer: You receive customized, ready-to-use solutions and do not have to purchase the expensive raw material yourself.
3D printing service
Production of additive manufactured components from refractory metals and precious metals
Heraeus Additive Manufacturing offers customers tailor-made design support - from the material to the finished component:
- We offer special alloys of refractory and precious metals that are tailored to your requirements as a customer.
- We print components made of high-quality and difficult to process special metals according to your specifications.
Our team will be pleased to advise you individually on your project.
Precious Metals Printed Parts
3D printing service: Components made of precious metal alloys
Precious metals are used in 3D printing to produce components for the jewelry industry and medical technology as well as parts for aerospace applications.
Precious metals are used in additive manufacturing due to their special properties. In addition to the jewelry industry, they are also important in medical technology for manufacturing implants because of their good biocompatibility. Their extraordinary physical properties, such as high temperature resistance and stable behaviour at fluctuating temperatures, predestine them for use in the aerospace industry, among others.
On behalf of our customers, we manufacture components made of precious metal alloys on our 3D printers and assist in optimizing the design. Our portfolio includes components made of platinum group metals such as platinum (Pt), rhodium (Rh), iridium (Ir), palladium (Pd), silver (Ag) and gold (Au) as well as customer-specific alloys such as PtRh20, PtIr50, Sterling-silver and red gold.
You would like to use our printing service for precious metal alloys? Our experts will be happy to provide assistance.
Refractory Metal Printed Parts
3D printing service: Components made of refractory metals
Refractory metals are processed in 3D printing into components for the blast furnace and aerospace industry, for power electronics and for medical devices and implants.
Refractory metals are particularly resistant, extremely high-melting-point technology metals. Their high melting point, low thermal expansion and high strength and hardness make them suitable for high-technology applications, such as for crucibles in smelting metallurgy or components in furnace construction. They are also used in power electronics. There they are preferred because of their high thermal and electrical conductivity combined with their high wear resistance.
Due to their properties, refractory metals are difficult to process conventionally. The solution: layered production in an additive manufacturing process. Heraeus Additive Manufacturing manufactures customer-specific components from tungsten, molybdenum, niobium and tantalum and their alloys.
We have more than 80 years of experience in processing refractory metals. Would you like to benefit from our expertise for your project? Please contact our customer service.
Our portfolio of refractory metals for additive manufacturing
Tungsten - material with unsurpassed heat resistance
At 3,422 degrees Celsius, the melting point of tungsten is higher than that of any other metal. Due to its high density (19.3g/cm3), tungsten is used especially for radiation shielding in nuclear technology and nuclear medicine applications, but also as a balancing weight in automotive, aerospace and aerospace applications.
The challenges of 3D printing with tungsten
In the additive manufacturing of a large tungsten component (height 295 mm), both our printer and the water cooling system meet their limits. While temperatures greater than 1,000°C must be maintained on the building panel, the mechanical and electronic components of the printer must also be cooled down at the same time.
Given the high density of tungsten, the two filled powder hoppers of the printer weigh approximately 340 kilograms. This is too much weight for many laser-based printers. Therefore, Heraeus used an electron-beam-based printer to print this component.
Because working with the electron beam causes the emission of x-rays, Shielding measures are especially important when printing with tungsten. To ensure that the resulting x-rays are fully contained, we work closely with the printer manufacturer and conduct a variety of tests.
Molybdenum - Material for aerospace
Molybdenum is very similar to tungsten, but lighter, and its lower hardness makes it easier to process. Its melting point is 2,620°C. This refractory metal is preferred for the production of aircraft and rocket parts and is also used in furnace construction.
Tantalum - material for microelectronics
Tantalum stands out particularly for its outstanding resistance to oxidation and chemicals. Due to its good biocompatibility, it is often used in the medical field for the manufacture of implants or medical instruments.
Niobium - material for medical technology
Like tantalum, niobium is extremely resistant to oxidation and chemicals. Due to its good biocompatibility, niobium is often used in the medical field for the manufacture of implants or medical instruments. Due to its high transition temperature, it is particularly popular for superconductive applications and magnets.