The Rhode Island based company NanoSteel was founded in 2001 and works on nano-structured steel material designs.
September 29, 2014: They are now entering the additive manufacturing market with their NanoSteel alloy metal powder, which can be used for laser sintering processes. Together with process development partners, NanoSteel created metal matrix microstructures that can be 3D printed into crack-free, fully dense steel parts. Featuring a hardness value of over 1000 HV, NanoSteel is similar to M2 tool steels. Further the amount of work and time put into producing 3D printed metal parts can be significantly reduced, as any post-processing methods (e.g. heat treatments) do not need to be applied when using this material.
Harald Lemke, General Manager of Engineered Powders at NanoSteel, gives further details in the following video:
March 5, 2015: Update – NanoSteel Expands Material Capabilities for Additive Manufacturing
The NanoSteel Company announced the expansion of the company’s additive manufacturing material capabilities to support metal 3D printing of complex high hardness parts and the ability to customize properties layer-by-layer through gradient material design.
The company used a combination of high hardness and ductile alloys to create a part featuring a gradient design. NanoSteel worked with Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology to generate part samples using freeform direct laser deposition. This single additive manufacturing process achieved a seamless transition between the hard and ductile properties without subsequent heat treatment.
These gradient materials designs offer the equivalent of “digital case hardening™” —delivering impact resistance and overall robustness in addition to high hardness and wear resistance in a single part. By providing this capability, NanoSteel offers OEMs considerable design flexibility in meeting part-performance requirements while taking advantage of the operational efficiencies of AM including on-demand availability, less inventory and lower transportation costs.
“Proprietary metal alloys that support the cost-effective 3D printing of high-quality parts will help accelerate the transition from subtractive to additive manufacturing across applications such as wear parts, bearings, and cutting tools” said Harald Lemke, NanoSteel’s General Manager of Engineered Powders. “The company’s AM powder offerings make it possible to design exclusively for the function of a high hardness part, releasing designers from the limitations of conventional production processes and opening new opportunities to improve performance.”
The company’s targeted markets for its AM powder portfolio are tool & die, energy, auto, and agriculture.