High-hardness ferrous metal matrix products are now achievable through a one-step 3D-printing process. NanoSteel®, a leader in nanostructured steel materials design, has successfully expanded its engineered powders business into additive manufacturing. By leveraging its uniform metal matrix microstructures in the laser- sintering process, the company can now build a crack-free, fully dense bulk sample. NanoSteel’s initial focus in additive manufacturing supports the market need for on-demand, on-site wear parts while addressing the current challenges in 3D printing of high-hardness parts.NanoSteel’s breakthrough overcomes one of the major hurdles to achieving high-hardness metallic parts through additive manufacturing—their tendency to develop cracks during part build. The company worked with a global process development partner to optimise processing of a proprietary NanoSteel alloy with a high volume fraction of boro-carbide phases. This successfully produced a fully dense (99.9%) crack-free part with hardness values over 1000 HV, wear resistance comparable to conventionally manufactured M2 tool steels, and a uniform microstructure. Importantly, these properties were achieved without the need for post-processing such as hot isostatic pressing (HIP) or further heat treatment, reducing production cost and lead times.“Currently, the material options to produce highly wear-resistant parts through additive manufacturing are limited” said Harald Lemke, NanoSteel’s General Manager of Engineered Powders. “By extending the reach of steel into markets currently served by WC-Co, ceramics, and other non-ferrous metal matrix metal composites, NanoSteel has the potential to generate cost-efficient wear parts to serve mining,” and other applications.The company is currently extending this breakthrough into more complex geometries and broadening its property sets to fully validate the market potential for 3D-printed steel components.
DEUTZ AG and Munich-based start-up KEYOU have agreed to build on their existing partnership and jointly develop commercially viable carbon-neutral hydrogen engines for off-road and on-road applications.The letter of intent, which will also include hydrogen engines for power generation, could see the two firms bring these engines to production readiness.Underground mining equipment manufacturers such as GHH Fahrzeuge use DEUTZ engines in their LHDs.DEUTZ said: “As a leading global manufacturer of innovative drive systems, DEUTZ is seeking to play a pioneering role in the development of high-quality, eco-friendly and efficient engines.“Alongside the E-DEUTZ strategy, which launched last year and has been pursued with purpose ever since, the collaboration with KEYOU represents a further step forward in the advancement of alternative drive technologies and fuels.”DEUTZ CEO, Dr Frank Hiller, said: “The use of alternative fuels such as hydrogen is growing in importance. We believe that this drive solution will be a valuable addition to our electrification strategy and play an integral role in the zero-emission vehicles of the future.”By working on the development of a hydrogen combustion engine, DEUTZ is also offering an alternative to fuel-cell technology, it said. The company’s expertise in combustion engines is being combined with KEYOU-inside technology, which can convert conventional production engines to run on hydrogen. “The technology is extremely scalable, both for on-road and off-road applications, and it can be used in a range of hybrid configurations, including in combination with electric drives,” DEUTZ said.KEYOU has developed a prototype for its KEYOU-inside technology that can turn a conventional diesel engine into a drive based on state-of-the-art hydrogen technology, according to DEUTZ.DEUTZ provided support as a development partner, supplying the engine – one of its standard six-cylinder models – and sharing its engineering expertise. The resulting hydrogen combustion engine is extremely cost-efficient, which makes it an attractive alternative to electric drives, fuel-cell drives and other zero-emission systems, the company said.KEYOU’s first 7.8-litre prototype DEUTZ engine was unveiled to the public in 2018 at the Bauma China trade fair and will also be showcased in April 2019 at the Bauma fair in Munich, Germany.Specific pilot projects with vehicle manufacturers and end users are in the planning stage, with the appearance of the first prototype vehicles expected in the first half of 2020. The aim is to bring them to production readiness by 2021/22.Alvaro Sousa, CTO of KEYOU, said: “Our new KEYOU-inside H2 combustion technology is not only cost-efficient, robust and powerful, but it is also perfect for use with DEUTZ engines thanks to its high degree of scalability.”