Tungsten Carbide Cutting Tools by 3D Printing

Goal: The goal of this program is to apply 3D Printing to the fabrication of Tungsten Carbide/Cobalt cutting inserts by 3D Printing. Such fabrication offers the potential for several degrees of flexibility over the current practice of dry pressing, including flexibility in geometry, in composition, and in response to market demand.

Approach: The fine powders used to process cutting inserts demand that process be done with the slurry deposition method. A slurry of powder is jetted through a nozzle which is raster-scanned over the surface of the powderbed in order to meter out a precise layer of fine powder. The wet layer is dried and then binder is ink-jet printed into the layer. (Wet deposition of the layer is required when fine powder is used as fine powder cannot be easily spread in the dry condition.) This project is directed at the development of the materials systems for the creation of slurries of co-dispersed tungsten carbide and cobalt and for the binder materials used with this system.

Sponsor: Kennametal Corp. and Valenite Corp.

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