AM service bureau and engineering company Amnovis, has entered into an IP license agreement with Belgium-based research university KU Leuven. This agreement enables Amnovis to leverage a copper 3D printing technology, developed after six years of research.
The company will now provide its customers with 3D printed copper parts with high conductivity and strength, tunable to unprecedented combinations that better serve a variety of industrial applications.
“Our copper and copper alloy 3D printing approach is built on a deep understanding of the laser powder bed fusion process (L-PBF). To maximize the use of this renowned and reliable AM technology, we developed excellent laser-absorptive powders based on the KU Leuven technology to overcome the high laser reflectivity and fast energy dissipation of copper material. Amnovis’ proprietary process enables to manufacture copper components in a broad, stable, and affordable processing window. It allows full density part builds offering high conductivity and strength, in a specific unprecedented combination tailored to the application requirements at hand. The process supports the ability to form thin-walled and complex-shaped structures with thickness down to 200 microns. The broad processing window of this technology, ensures repeatable and reproducible build quality“, Suraj Dinkar Jadhav, Amnovis’ Senior Materials Engineer notes.
This copper 3D printing approach would enable to exceed 99% of material density while the printed material offers improved electrical and heat conductivity.
When printing CuCr1Zr material, the electrical conductivity can be tailored up to 90% IACS and the thermal conductivity up to 360 W/(m·K), while a yield strength of more than 500 MPa and an ultimate tensile strength of more than 600 MPa can be achieved, combined with an elongation of 30%.
The proprietary laser-absorptive powders of Amnovis offer excellent flowability and oxidation resistance. As a result, the copper and copper alloy powders reduce powder ageing, improve reusability, and prolong shelf life. The oxidation resistant powders also ensure only negligible oxygen in the final part, which avoids strength degradation after post-heat treatment.
“Our proprietary material and process expertise sets a new standard for copper and copper alloy 3D printing. At the same time, we reduce costs by avoiding expensive green, blue and high-power lasers. Providing copper parts with unmatched material characteristics is a perfect example of how we want to innovate AM manufacturing. It enables customers to have superior copper parts printed by Amnovis and achieve stunning performance gains in a variety of applications. For example, just imagine the potential of more efficient 3D printed CPU heat sinks used in the growing number of data centers”, Ruben Wauthle, Amnovis CEO & Co-founder will conclude.
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