Flash on printed, injected and wrought 316L stainless steel
AISI 316L stainless steel (X2CrNiMo17-12-2) is widely used in 3D printing. To date, it has been studied the most according to the paper [Suwanpreecha et al 2022] at 40%.
Suwanpreecha et al propose to compare the metals printed by the MIM-Like process with the large scale Metal Injection Molding (MIM) process. Please refer to the previous article entitled “What is PIM Like?” for more information on this process. From this publication, there is a peak in publications on MIM-Like processes over the last five years and the main grades studied are AISI 316L and AISI 17-4PH stainless steels and copper alloy and TA6V alloy (see Figure 1 and 2).
The PEPS consortium worked on the mechanical characterisation of printed AISI 316L stainless steel:
-By MIM-Like process using BASF CATAMOLD® granules from the Direct 3D extruder
-By MIM-Like process using BASF ULTRAFUSE® filament on the Raise 3D
-By MIM process, injected from BASF’s CATAMOLD® granules
Figure 3, obtained within the PEPS consortium and presented in this flash, compares the density, mechanical properties (maximum strength and yield strength in MPa) with the standards in force for both MIM and wrought steels. Finally, the two MIM-Like processes make it possible to obtain AISI 316L stainless steel with values above the tolerances of the standard in force for MIM. Nevertheless, a printed AISI 316L stainless steel remains inferior to the properties of the same grade injected. This is due to the density obtained after printing. It’s induced by the printing processes (lack of overlap from one layer to another, lack of material at the corners of the parts, etc.) despite optimisation of the printing parameters. In the coming years, an effort will therefore have to be made on MIM Like printing technologies to reduce these differences and improve the properties of printed metals.