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Quick Tech News


by Alexander Fäh

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Revolution in 3D Printing: Oxygen-Free Production Takes Metal Powder Fusion to New Dimensions

  • Oxygen-Free Production in 3D Printing: LZH researchers use argon and silane to create an oxygen-depleted atmosphere for 3D printing of metals.

  • Flux-Free Laser-Based Brazing: Novel process on a nanosecond scale replaces environmentally and health-hazardous flux materials.

  • Additive Manufacturing under Extreme Conditions: Metal powder processing during powder bed-based laser beam melting in an oxygen-free atmosphere opens new perspectives in 3D printing.


Innovative Research at the Laser Center Hannover: 3D Printing Under Extreme Conditions Without Oxidation.

Researchers at the Laser Center Hannover explore new frontiers in 3D printing under oxygen-free atmosphere.
Researchers at the Laser Center Hannover explore new frontiers in 3D printing under oxygen-free atmosphere.

A groundbreaking development in the field of 3D printing is underway in the metal processing industry. At the Laser Center Hannover (LZH), within the scope of the Collaborative Research Center 1368 "Oxygen-Free Production," a pioneering method is being researched that enables 3D printing of metals in an oxygen-free atmosphere.

LZH experts use an innovative process, introducing argon as a protective gas along with a small amount of silane during production. This combination creates an extremely oxygen-depleted atmosphere, comparable to an extremely high vacuum (XHV), surpassing conventional vacuum technologies economically.

A promising subproject of the research focuses on laser-based brazing without the use of flux. Instead of conventional flux materials, often environmentally and health-hazardous, scientists opt for a nanosecond-pulsed laser beam source to break down the oxide layer. The subsequent brazing process occurs under oxygen depletion in a silane atmosphere, preventing a renewed oxidation of the surface.

Another emphasis lies on the additive manufacturing of metals under oxygen-free conditions. The "Additive Manufacturing – Metals" group at LZH investigates how metal powders can be processed during powder bed-based laser beam melting in an oxygen-free atmosphere. A specially developed system for 3D printing of metals facilitated the exploration of the process using the titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V.


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