Researchers have achieved a breakthrough in 3D printing 316L, a common form of marine grade stainless steel that promises an unparalleled combination of high-strength and high-ductility properties.
Marine grade stainless steel is widely utilised due to its performance in corrosive environments and for its high ductility, a property undermined by conventional techniques for strengthening this class of material.
Now, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers in California, along with collaborators at Iowa-based Ames National Laboratory, Georgia Tech University and Oregon State University believe their breakthrough has overcome this challenge. The research appears online in Nature Materials.
“In order to make all the components you’re trying to print useful, you need to have this material property at least the same as those made by traditional metallurgy,” said LLNL materials scientist and lead author Morris Wang.