Material-in-tube Wires for Additive Manufacturing (AM)
Engineering components produced via wire-based additive manufacturing can access markets easier due to faster processes, less material waste and improved properties of printed parts.
Within this industry, electron beam and laser beam additive manufacturing technologies are gaining popularity due to their versatility to produce large-scale, high value parts with high deposition rates for various industries including automotive, aerospace, oil & gas, jet engines and power generation.
In applications where the use of conventionally available solid wires is not possible, there is a need to design composite wires containing a carefully designed powder mix in the core, which is encapsulated with metallic sheath materials. This may be useful in cases where a mix of materials is needed, or where melting a solid metal wire is too time-consuming.
An East of England company has developed a unique continuous wire manufacturing technology capable of producing powder-cored wires encapsulated with laser welded tubes suitable for additive manufacturing. A wide range of metallic and mineral powders are homogeneously mixed in intelligent nano powder mixers and delivered to the core of wires. Nano and micron-sized powders can be added to the composite alloy, in turn creating unique alloy compositions. A wide range of tube materials can be utilised such as steel, stainless steel, nickel, cobalt and titanium.
This technology also allows for the deposition of metal-ceramic mixes and cemented-carbide compounds for 3D printing. Wires produced with this technique are available in small diameters 500 MNE,251-500,SME 51-250,>500