2/24/2017

Linear AMS Adds Copper to Capabilities

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In addition to making parts, the company is engaged in developing the process for additive manufacturing with copper.

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Linear AMS has added copper to its list of chemistries available to its customers for metal additive manufacturing. The material is of interest in thermal stabilization projects due to copper’s heat-transfer properties and electrical conductivity. End markets include the aerospace and automotive industries.

Process development is also an ongoing mission for Linear AMS. “It’s a very interesting time in the industrial space with additive manufacturing,” says Paul Breeding, director of engineering/additive at Linear. “Team building, participating in standards discussions, and improving process controls are just some of our efforts aimed at bettering our engineering and metallurgical understanding of not only copper, but all the materials our customers want.”

While additive manufacturing on Linear’s direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) machines is a main process focus, Breeding notes the importance of the company’s postprocessing capabilities and knowledge.

“Copper can reflect laser energy, but simply pumping up the power can also create challenges,” he explains. “We’re printing test builds to hone in on the process parameters not only with metal AM, but also hot isostatic pressing (HIP) and heat-treating to meet if not exceed part requirements. The challenges with copper as well as other materials have us continually refining the process.”

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