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3D printing with carbon is the focus of a collaboration between Germany-based SGL Group and binder jetting specialists, ExOne.

SGL Group produces materials at 32 locations across Europe and employs over 4,000 people. The company’s core expertise in the control of high-temperature technologies and includes a wide materials base. The venture with ExOne, manufacturers of a range of binder jetting based 3D printers, focuses on carbon-based materials.

ExOne - Industrial - Production - Manufacturing - System

ExOne’s Exerial Industrial Production additive manufacturing system is one of the company’s leading machines, with a recent sale of four Exerial systems bringing in $2.8 million.

The properties of carbon include high “conductivity of electricity and heat, resistance to heat and corrosion as well as lightweight construction coupled with high firmness.”

Printing - CARBOPRINT - SGL - Group - Photo

3D printing with CARBOPRINT at SGL Group. Photo via SGL Group.

The carbon materials for additive manufacturing will be marketed under name CARBOPRINT. These materials have been developed for use with ExOne 3D binder jet printing technology. The new materials further extends the material portfolio available to ExOne customers.

Techniques - Prints - CARBOPRINT - Processing - Impregnation

Post-processing techniques have also been developed to treat the initially porous 3D prints made with CARBOPRINT. The additional processing includes polymer impregnation or silicon or metal infiltration. SGL Group says this permits, “adjustment of versatile material properties to the specific application.”

The CARBOPRINT material family.

Manufacturing - Workflow - CARBOPRINT - Carbonization - Redensification

An additive manufacturing workflow with CARBOPRINT can also incorporate optional carbonization, redensification or graphitization before infiltration is performed.

Having completed an initial material development study, SGL reports that the first 3D printed components for chemical apparatus construction and environmental technology are now undergoing testing. Specific examples include, “heat exchangers and components for distillation columns, as well as pump components made of siliconized 3D-printed carbon.”

SGL - Group - Industries - Glass - Metal

SGL Group believes that industries including glass, metal and chemical can benefit from 3D printed carbon. There are also high-temperature and mechanical applications for the technology. The carbon powders may also become the basis...
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