ExOne and Global Tungsten & Powders Corp. signed a collaboration to develop tungsten-based metal 3D printing using binder jetting.

Global Tungsten & Powders Corp. is a manufacturer of tungsten metal powders whereas ExOne is a specialist in industrial sand and metal 3D printers using binder jetting technology.

The new partnership aims to develop two metal matrix composites: on the one hand, cemented carbide (WC-Co),acknowledged for its high hardness and toughness and intended for the fabrication of cutting tools and wear-resistant parts; on the other hand, copper-tungsten (CuW), ideal for applications that require high heat resistance, high electrical and thermal conductivity, and low thermal expansion.

Furthermore, from now on, GTP will deliver a 3D printing and sintering service for cemented carbide parts. Users will be able to explore the feasibility of their new designs. GTP uses an ExOne® Innovent®, an advanced binder jetting system that 3D prints metal, ceramic and composite powders in a compact build area. The system is the result of more than 20 years of R&D. It integrates an advanced form of binder jetting and includes patent-pending methods of dispensing, spreading and compacting powders to deliver exceptional density and repeatability in final products.

Binder jetting is the 3D printing method of choice for serial production of hard metal parts. Traditionally, tungsten carbide powder is pressed into the desired shape and then sintered to give it strength and density. Instead of costly and timely mold construction, the parts now can be printed directly in the desired shape, still using sintering technology to achieve the final strength. As a market leader in the development and production of high-quality tungsten powders, GTP always stays on top of the latest technology,” said Deborah West, Vice-President Business Unit Refractory & Specialty Powders, GTP. “We are excited to work with ExOne in the development of cutting-edge technology for the additive manufacturing industry.”

ExOne is one of the first companies that started the commercialization of metal binder jetting systems. In the dossier of the previous issue of 3D ADEPT Mag, ExOne alongside two other companies, explained the potential and the limitations of binder jetting – compared to MIM – and the reason why this technology remains an interesting technique to produce precision parts at a high rate of speed.

Tim Pierce, ExOne Vice President of Metal Commercial Products, added: “Metal 3D printing using our exclusive approach to binder jetting has exciting and significant consequences for a variety of manufacturers, including those who make parts with cemented carbide and other tungsten composites. Our latest development collaboration with GTP will help advance the materials necessary to deliver on the vision of producing these parts faster, with less waste and more geometric design freedom.

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