The legendary Damascus steel is now possible to print on a 3D printer

Engineers from the max Planck Society in düsseldorf and the Institute for laser technologies Fraunhofer in Aachen (Germany) has developed a new technology for the creation of heterogeneous microstructures using 3D printing. To visualize their work, they printed an analogue of the famous Damascus steel. It’s not a billet for weapons, about the outstanding performance of the material can not speak, he was prepared to demonstrate how the old technology can be migrated into the modern world.

The main feature of Damascus steel is made up of alternating multiple layers of hard and soft metal inside a package. In classic forging these layers are first produced as separate pieces and then connected together. 3D printing method involves alternately applying different layers, to eventually repeat the same structure. However, in a classic Damascus steel uses two types of raw materials with different chemical composition that modern 3D printers are still too complicated task.

German scientists have used a common raw material – the alloy powder of iron, Nickel and titanium, however, has supplied the print head of the printer for more laser emitter. During printing, the powder melts and is poured a layer of predetermined thickness on the workpiece, then there is pause to that fresh coat has had time to cool below 195&nbdsp;°C. Then, using a laser, the upper part of this layer is heated instantly and on top of it immediately served the next layer of the molten metal.

Due to the fact that each layer separate areas cool down differently, changing the mechanical properties of the finished metal – it turns out that the alternating hard and soft layers. But the main caveat is that when re-opening a laser can very precisely influence the microstructure of the metal and thereby directly during printing to create parts of products with very different properties. That is what “designing” of new alloys on the move by German engineers called an achievement. A replica of the Damascus steel is just a clear demonstration of ideas.

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