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Noble metal powder for 3D printing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000245566D
Publication Date: 2016-Mar-17
Document File: 4 page(s) / 96K

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Noble metal powders for 3D printing

Powders of oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) noble metals and noble metal alloys, in particular Pt and Pt alloys, and their manufacturing are known e.g. from DE20028861971, WO2013147338 and WO2012124840. Those are used to fabricate structures with enhanced strength by powder metallurgy followed by annealing and deformation. However this process is lengthy and not all desired geometrical designs and structures can be made by this technology. Hence there is a need to develop a method which allows to manufacture also complex designs made from noble metal alloys and Pt in particular.

The task is achieved by providing a noble metal or noble metal alloy powder with a narrow and defined particle size and subjecting it to a layer wise local melting and fusion process followed by cooling in which the three dimensional structure is formed. The layer wise local melting and fusion process is achieved by irradiation of the powder using electromagnetic radiation beams which are selectively moved across the powder surface. Especially laser beams and electron beams are used to at least partially melting the powder particles whereby the particles fuse together and form a continuous body upon cooling. When the part is finalized, the powder which was not fused to become a part of the design is at least partially removed.

The novel ODS structures can be obtained via three different routes:

1.    The fist process comprises the following steps:

a.    the alloy forming metals are mixed and molten,

b.    the alloy material is treated in a way that fine particles are generated,

c.    optionally, the alloy particles are classified in order to obtain a certain particle size distribution,

d.    the desired structure is generated via layer wise local melting and fusion process,

e.    the free particles are at least partially removed,
whereby in this and the foregoing steps oxidation of elements is avoided or at least nor actively performed,

f.     the generated structure is exposed to an oxidizing atmosphere at elevated temperature and/or pressure, and

g.    optionally, the generated structure is subjected to heat, pressure or mechanic treatments or any combination thereof.

2.    The second process comprises the following steps:

a.    the alloy forming elements are mixed and molten,

b.    the alloy material is treated in a way that fine particles are generated,

c.    optionally, the alloy particles are classified in order to obtain a certain particle size distribution,
whereby in this and the foregoing steps oxidation of elements is avoided or at least not actively performed,

d.    the fine particles are exposed to an oxidizing atmosphere at elevated temperature and/or pressure,

e.    optionally, the alloy particles are classified in order to obtain a certain particle size distribution,

f.     the desired structure is generated via layer wise local melting and fusion process,

g.    the free particles are at least partially removed, and

h.    optionally the generated structure is subjec...