Laser-sintering of components in 17-4 grade stainless steel

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EOS GmbH Electro Optical Systems is announcing the successful market launch of EOS StainlessSteel 17-4. This material for direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) is excellent for industrial applications requiring high resistance to corrosion as well as good mechanical properties - such as components for engineering applications and medical devices.

StainlessSteel 17-4 is an industrially accepted stainless steel material. The composition corresponds to the European material number 1.4542 as well as to the USA steel classification 17-4 PH.

"Especially when realising e-Manufacturing [rapid manufacturing] applications, our customers request accepted materials with series properties", underlines Dr Michael Shellabear, product manager at EOS, stressing the strategic importance and necessity of the new material. "StainlessSteel 17-4 opens the way to new industrial applications for functional parts, small series, one-offs and spare parts. The material offers our customers solutions in every phase of the product life cycle, with which they can increase their internal efficiency and also their product quality."

The DMLS process completely melts the metal powder and therefore produces parts that are fully dense.

EOS tested the new material prior to the market launch with a select group of pilot users. In the meantime, at least 12 Eosint M customers are using it, and their feedback so far confirms that laser sintering is becoming an accepted flexible production method. Among the group is also The Boeing Company, which used StainlessSteel 17-4 for producing frames for foot-level lighting fixtures in passenger cabins. The order was for re-designing the frames for 19 aircraft of an Asian carrier.

EOS StainlessSteel 17-4 is available as a series product with immediate effect for Eosint M 270 customers. It adds to the material product range that EOS recently expanded with EOS CobaltChrome MP1. The next material, a titanium alloy, is scheduled to be launched commercially in early 2007.

24 October 2006

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