voestalpine demonstrates expertise in additive manufacturing 4 minutes spent reading
Innovation

voestalpine demonstrates expertise in additive manufacturing

Volkmar Held

With their optimized tool steels and expertise in innovative 3D printing, voestalpine companies demonstrated their capabilities at EUROGUSS 2020, Europe’s leading trade fair for the die casting industry.

At EUROGUSS 2020 the voestalpine companies demonstrated their expertise in the field of additive manufacturing, innovative steel brands, and production experience. The turbulence caused by changes in the automotive market is having a broad impact. The die casting industry also faces major challenges with respect to lightweight construction and emissions reductions.

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15,000 visitors attended EUROGUSS 2020 between January 14 to 16 (©EUROGUSS)

voestalpine innovations strengthen lightweight construction

voestalpine products support the industry’s efforts towards lightweight construction, the exhibitors from voestalpine High Performance Metals Deutschland GmbH with its BÖHLER and Uddeholm brands, Buderus Edelstahl GmbH, and Eschmann Stahl GmbH are all convinced. Stefan Wetzel of voestalpine High Performance Metals Deutschland GmbH explains: “We can meet the demand for steel brands for optimized die casting tools with our BÖHLER W350 special brands, and particularly with BÖHLER W360, which is available in round, flat, plate, or ingot form, and as an additive manufacturing powder. They make the hybrid construction of die casting inserts economic.” The manufacturers of tool mold steel within the Group are continually optimizing their product range to offer greater fatigue strength, toughness, and corrosion resistance, as well as improved workability, and weldability.

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Innovation attracts–the voestalpine stands at EUROGUSS were very well attended.

The demands made of die cast products are primarily:

  • reduced wall thicknesses;
  • improved surface qualities;
  • more complex geometries, and
  • closer tolerances.

The goal in the industry is for lightweight construction to enable the process-reliable manufacture of wall thicknesses of 2.0 mm. The material savings will result in a 1:1 reduction in vehicle weights, manufacturers claim. This is contingent upon near-net-shape tempering of tools which–because of current voestalpine capabilities–is a realizable aspiration.

voestalpine 3D printing has a sustainable impact

The tool inserts demonstrated by the voestalpine Additive Manufacturing Center Düsseldorf have already proven this.

"By printing tools using voestalpine steels, the voestalpine Additive Manufacturing Center produces tools which are sustainable in many ways. They reduce the scrap rate, increase the service life of the tool insert, and reduce CO2 emissions."
Armin Wiedenegger, CEO of the voestalpine Additive Manufacturing Center in Düsseldorf

DGH Heidenau, a voestalpine customer in Dohna, Saxony, is able to reduce its annual CO2-footprint by around 80 tons, purely through the use of cooling-optimized tool inserts. The developers at voestalpine improved the temperature management by introducing near-net-shape cooling channels. The sustainable tool was built by means of additive manufacturing using BÖHLER W360 AMPO. “To date the voestalpine Center in Düsseldorf is the only manufacturer of die casting mold steels of this class,” stressed Armin Wiedenegger.

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Complex geometries and reduced wall thicknesses–3D-printed tools and innovative voestalpine tool mold steels such as BÖHLER W360 have proved their worth in the die casting market (©EUROGUSS).

Effective partnership between Buderus Edelstahl and Eschmann Stahl

At EUROGUSS 2020 Buderus Edelstahl GmbH and Eschmann Stahl GmbH, companies in the voestalpine High Performance Metals division, demonstrated the effectiveness of their joint sales strategy. “Tool inserts and filling chambers made from EschmannStahl tool steels are the perfect supplement to Buderus Edelstahl die casting mold frames, and that was something we were able to clearly demonstrate to our guests at the joint EUROGUSS stand,” said sales executive Oliver Schaub, Buderus Edelstahl GmbH, highlighting the synergy of the joint appearance.

With over 750 exhibitors from 36 countries, the Nuremberg-based trade fair was once again a success for exhibitors. The voestalpine companies at the show agree:

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A topic of interest: there was a full house for the lecture given by Alexander Sieger, Innovation Manager voestalpine BÖHLER Edelstahl Deutschland GmbH & Co KG., on the opportunities and risks of additive manufacturing for tools.