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Velo3D Qualifies Copper Alloy for use in Sapphire Printer Family

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Velo3D Qualifies Copper Alloy for Sapphire Family of Printers
Above: A cross-sectioned thrust chamber printed on a Velo3D Sapphire system in GRCop-42/Source: Velo3D

Velo3D Inc., a leader in metal additive manufacturing technology for mission-critical parts, has qualified the copper-chromium-niobium alloy GRCop-42 for use in its Sapphire printer family. On May 17-19, the first GRCop-42 demo parts will be on display at the Velo3D RAPID +TCT booth (#1508) in Detroit.

NASA developed the GRCop-42 alloy to make parts that require high strength and conductivity, such as rocket engine combustion chambers with regenerative cooling. Customers of Velo3D can use the newly developed material parameters to create mission-critical parts with high creep strength and oxidation resistance at temperatures as high as 1400 degrees Fahrenheit.

GRCop-42 alloy for Sapphire Printer Family

end-to-end additive manufacturing solution
Above: The end-to-end additive manufacturing solution, Sapphire 3D printers/Image Source: Velo3D

NASA developed the GRCop-42 in 1987 for use in harsh environments such as rocket engine combustion chambers. The alloy was developed after teams of researchers identified ways to improve on previously developed copper alloys. GRCop-42 stood out because it was able to achieve higher thermal conductivity than its predecessor while maintaining similar strength properties. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama and Glenn Research Center in Ohio developed parameters for GRCop-42’s use in additive manufacturing in 2017.

“Our end-to-end solutions have seen extensive adoption in aerospace because of their ability to deliver part consolidation, lighter-weight systems, and unique geometries, and adding GRCop-42 to our growing list of available materials enables us to support more use cases across the aerospace industry. We’ve had extensive demand for Sapphires and Sapphire XCs that can print GRCop-42 and we’ve tested it to ensure it can achieve the same high-quality builds as our other offered materials. I’m looking forward to seeing how customers unlock new use-cases for additive manufacturing with this amazing alloy.”

– Benny Buller, Velo3D CEO and Founder

Knust Godwin, a Velo3D contract manufacturer, will receive the first Sapphire printer to use GRCop-42. The Texas-based company currently operates three systems that use other alloys such as Inconel. Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment, Knust Godwin’s parent company based in Austria, also has a Velo3D end-to-end solution.

“Our team is always looking for new ways to differentiate our business and because of that we were an early adopter of additive manufacturing technology, which has helped us grow our business and better serve our customers,” said Mike Corliss, Knust Godwin VP of Technology. “Additive manufacturing allows us to build parts for our customers that could not otherwise be manufactured using conventional, subtractive manufacturing. These new, powerful alloys, like GRCop-42—that provide added capabilities and benefits for our customers—allow us to expand our addressable use-cases.” 

Velo3D’s qualification of GRCop-42 for use in its Sapphire printer family is a natural next step in its material offering, following the widespread adoption of its end-to-end solution in the aerospace industry. The company is one of the few with printers capable of producing parts in GRCop-42, and several such systems are currently on order. Prior to making the material available to customers, GRCop-42 was validated to ensure that it delivers the same expected results and part quality as other Velo3D materials.


About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D Printing. Visit our Tech News page for more updates on Global 3D Printing News. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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