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Zortrax introduces metal 3D printing kits and VICTREX AM 200 FIL low-melting filament

Zortrax introduces new products dedicated to the industrial Endureal 3D printer: two comprehensive kits for metal 3D printing – Zortrax Full Metal Package 17-4 PH and Zortrax Full Metal Package 316L, and low-melting PAEK VICTREX AM 200 filament. The metal kit contains all the necessary elements to start 3D printing and BASF Ultrafuse 316L or BASF Ultrafuse 17-4 PH materials produced by Zortrax partner – BASF Forward AM. VICTREX AM 200 filament is a high-performance polymer from the same family of thermoplastics as Z-PEEK, which offers similar and in some areas even better results in 3D printing.

Metal 3D printing technology developed by BASF Forward AM is based on the use of metal-polymer filaments to produce industrial-quality stainless steel elements. Compared to traditional manufacturing technologies such as CNC machining or metal injection molding, metal 3D printing provides greater design flexibility and is more affordable. When 3D printing from filaments containing metallic powder, it is crucial to use a properly adapted 3D printer, capable of processing them properly and ensuring proper post-processing.

“When using metallic powder filaments, micro-cracks or brittle spots on the models are common problems that users face. The reason is usually the wrong internal structure, which means that the target elements do not retain all the properties desired for the metal. Realizing this, we focused on creating a solution that provides the models with the right structure, allowing them to be used exactly like ordinary steel. We managed to do it because the correct internal structure is obtained on Zortrax Endureal during the 3D printing process itself. In addition, the new Zortrax Full Metal Packages offer e.g. high-quality BASF Forward AM metal-polymer filaments and a voucher for professional post-processing at Elnik Systems GmbH, where 3D prints are subjected to proprietary chemical etching and sintering processes,” says Michał Siemaszko, Head of Research and Development at Zortrax S.A.

Zortrax Full Metal Package 316L contains BASF Ultrafuse 316L, a filament composed of 80% 316L stainless steel and 20% polymer. 316L is a surgical grade stainless steel with more than 10% chromium. This chemical element, in contact with oxygen, causes a thin coating to form on the surface of the model, protecting it from corrosion. 3D printed parts with BASF Ultrafuse 316L have up to 561 MPa tensile strength, 251 MPa yield strength, up to 53% elongation at break and a non-magnetic microstructure. All these features make this metal-polymer filament great for printing intricate end parts, automotive parts, medical equipment, chemical pipes or valves, tool components and handles, as well as various functional prototypes.

Zortrax Full Metal Package 17-4 PH contains BASF Ultrafuse 17-4 PH – an industrial composite filament, consisting of 80% of hardened 17-4 steel and 20% of polymer. Models printed with this filament have a tensile strength of up to 1004 MPa, yield strength of 764 MPa, elongation at break of up to 4% and have a magnetic microstructure. BASF Ultrafuse® 17-4 PH can be successfully used for all components requiring significant hardness, chemical pipes or valves, strong metal end parts, medical equipment, automotive parts, tool and fixture components and functional prototypes.

Zortrax Full Metal Package 316L and Zortrax Full Metal Package 17-4 PH, in addition to filaments, contain all other components necessary for trouble-free 3D metal printing: BASF Ultrafuse Support Layer, i.e. a dedicated support material that ensures the desired geometry of the printed parts at the 3D printing stage and post-processing, Magigoo Pro Metal glue ensuring reliable adhesion during printing and easy removal of the printed part, an additional head module with brass nozzles for Zortrax Endureal and a voucher for professional post-processing at Elnik (BASF’s trusted partner in Germany), where 3D prints are key processes of chemical pickling and sintering to achieve all the properties of the steel.

Another novelty introduced on Zortrax Endureal is the low-melting VICTREX AM 200 PAEK filament – a high-performance polymer belonging to the same family of thermoplastics as Z-PEEK. Key features of VICTREX AM 200 FIL are low viscosity for easier flow through the nozzle, slow crystallization to facilitate strong interlayer bonding for improved Z-axis tensile strength, high dimensional stability and minimized distortion.

“The VICTREX AM™200 has higher Z-axis strength than PEEK and comparable X- and Y-axis strength. All other parameters are close to PEEK. However, PAEK is much easier to 3D print. This high-performance polymer is an excellent choice for 3D printing components that can replace metal components in the aerospace, marine, high-tech engineering and oil industries. PAEK can also be successfully used for 3D printing of load-bearing elements, tool elements, structural frames or parts that must withstand high temperatures,” emphasizes Dawid Piastowski, Materials Development Leader at Zortrax S.A.

VICTREX AM 200 FIL proves itself every time the models produced require chemical resistance, significant mechanical strength, as well as the ability to 3D print with a soluble support or resistance to extreme temperatures. The polymer combines all the advantages of PEEK, adding to them benefits such as higher strength values, especially in the Z axis, less shrinkage and susceptibility to deformation, and compatibility with soluble support material. In addition, it has a wider process window, thanks to which the results achieved and design freedom will often be better when working with PAEK.

Source: Zortrax press materials

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