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Inconel 718's Traditional Manufacturing Vs. 3D Printing Technology

2021-12-20 15:28:07  News

Characteristics and application of Inconel 718 material

Inconel 718 is a high-performance nickel-based superalloy that can be precipitated and hardened. It is specially developed to enhance the service life of aircraft parts in extreme environments. It is based on nickel, iron, and cobalt and integrates various metal elements. Inconel 718 superalloy has excellent comprehensive properties, high-temperature yield strength, and plasticity, and can work for a long time at a high temperature above 600 ℃, And it has good processability and organizational stability. It has become an ideal material for petrochemical, aerospace, and other special industries. Inconel 718 is widely used to manufacture high-temperature components of aero-engine, from the compressor, combustion chamber, and turbine to gearbox protecting and supporting the engine, from stationary rotating parts in the engine to various bolt fasteners. One-third of the raw materials of GE's famous CF6 engine is the alloy, and the use of Inconel 718 Alloy in P & W's PW4000 engine exceeds half of the total amount of the engine.Inconel 718 has become the cornerstone of aerospace applications, It also has important applications in a nuclear reactor (heat exchanger pipeline), submarine (propeller blade, quick disconnect device, auxiliary propulsion motor), chemical industry (container, pump, valve, pipeline), power generation (industrial gas turbine), oil and natural gas industry (downhole pipeline, wellhead hardware, flare arm), etc.

Traditional forging process of Inconel 718

The traditional manufacturing process of Inconel 718 superalloy parts is forging. Although the mechanical properties of Inconel 718 superalloy components formed by forging are good, there are many problems in the production and manufacturing process. When traditional manufacturing methods such as machining, forging or welding are used, annealing is often required before the start of the process, which will affect the high-temperature corrosion and creep resistance of the parts. Inconel 718 is a typically difficult-to-machine material due to its high cutting temperature and serious work hardening. For the complex geometry commonly required in aerospace applications, the manufacturing of Inconel 718 parts is often very difficult and expensive. Therefore, the traditional processing methods will have the problems of complex forging process, long production cycle, difficult forging forming, and high production cost.

3D printing technology of Inconel 718 material

Compared with the traditional forging process, 3D printing technology has the characteristics of a short production cycle, easy integration of parts forming, suitable for manufacturing parts with complex shapes, and low production cost. At present, 3D printing technology has attracted extensive attention at home and abroad, and has been applied in the field of industrial manufacturing. SLM technology is a mature process for preparing the metal and its parts in 3D printing technology. At present, it has been applied in the fields of radiator parts, biomedical parts, ultra-light structural parts, and microdevices.

SLM: Selective laser melting (selective laser melting) is a main technical way in the additive manufacturing of metal materials. Its principle is to use the rapid melting and rapid solidification of metal powder under the heat of laser beam, scan the metal powder bed layer by layer according to the path planning in the three-dimensional CAD slice model, and the scanned metal powder can achieve the effect of metallurgical combination through melting and solidification, Finally, the metal parts designed by the model are obtained. In this technology, the laser is selected as the energy source. In order to completely melt metal powder, the laser energy density is required to exceed 106W / cm2. At present, the lasers using SLM technology mainly include Nd YAG laser, CO2 laser, and fiber laser. The laser wavelengths produced by these lasers are 1064nm, 10640nm, and 1090nm respectively. The absorptivity of metal powder to shorter wavelength lasers such as 1064nm is relatively high, while the absorptivity to longer wavelength lasers such as 10640nm is relatively low. Therefore, in the process of forming metal parts, the laser energy utilization rate of laser with a shorter wavelength is high, but the laser energy utilization rate of CO2 laser with a longer wavelength is low.

3D printed Inconel 718 engine combustion chamber liner

SLM technology overcomes the difficulties brought by traditional technology in manufacturing metal parts with complex shapes. It can directly form almost fully dense metal parts with good mechanical properties. 3D printing is playing an unparalleled role in all walks of life. I believe it will further bring more beauty to our life.

Inconel 718 material supplier

Wudenalloy has focused on the production and manufacture of nickel alloys for more than ten years. We are a principal worldwide supplier of corrosion-resistant alloy and other superalloy metals. We have a professional technical team and after-sales service, so we can offer high-quality Hastelloy, Incoloy, Inconel, Monel, Duplex Stainless Steel, and other alloy material. These materials are available in wire, bar, sheet&plate, pipe&tube, flange, forging, and other forms to meet the needs of our customers.

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