Extreme heat and abrasion resistance - H13 is your new favourite tooling material
Desktop Metal have further pushed the bounds of accessibility within the world of metal 3D printing. H13 Tool Steel gives away its primary purpose within its name. Tool steel is a family of carbon and alloy steels that are specifically designed with tooling in mind, known for their suitedness to shape other materials. Tri-Tech 3D are excited to see the expansion of metal 3D printing materials and the applications that have been unlocked. Early uses of the material have already shown its reliability to the task at hand, standing up to high temperatures without deformation while displaying an unmistakable hardness under such conditions. Equally, the stability shown by the material when withstanding intense heat treatment is remarkable. Furthermore, all tooling materials require a level of abrasive resistance, and H13 is no different; it offers a superb longevity that other printed materials struggle to match.
Hot hardness and stability in heat treatment may be the main selling points of H13 Tool Steel, but its overall toughness makes it ideal for use in standard work environments too. The complex geometries that are achievable through printing in this material mean that single-part tools can be produced without prolonged assembly time or fear of decreased reliability. This facilitates rapid prototyping and low volume production in many instances, due to the design versatility of the material.
Colin Cater, Tri-Tech Desktop Metal specialist commented:
Rapidly producing resistant, reliable tools can provide a real addition to business value. H13 is ideal for businesses with tooling needs in specialised scenarios but is equally valuable for its use in standard applications.
Used for extruding lengths of materials in the shape of cross sections, extrusion dies are an ideal use for H13. The hot extrusion technique requires high temperatures to achieve recrystallisation of the material length. This requires the die to be hugely resistant to heat, not to mention the abrasion resistant properties it needs to exhibit. The complex shape of this tool also lends itself to 3D print, and the versatile print capabilities of the Desktop Metal studio system.
Producing plastic parts and components consistently is a task most easily performed using injection moulding. The high volume needs of plastic parts mean using molten plastic in moulds is by far the most efficient method of production. But, as you well know, molten plastic is very hot. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that the heat and wear resistance once again makes H13 the perfect choice for this application. In 3D printing this material you can not only replicate the shape of the mould required, but incorporate conformal cooling channels that can exponentially reduce what is often a very long cooling time.
Those are the ways in which Desktop Metal’s H13 Tool Steel is even further improving 3D printing’s position within the field of tooling applications. The material is the new go to for tooling (and other) needs, so contact us today to find out more about how you can utilise it today.
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