Country for PR: United Kingdom
Contributor: PR Newswire Europe
Thursday, July 01 2021 - 16:00
GKN Additive develops 3D printing process for low alloy dual-phase steels DPLA and FSLA for automotive and industrial applications
BONN, Germany, July 1, 2021 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

In an industry-first, GKN Additive successfully adapts and enhances DP600 like 
material, a widely used low alloy dual-phase steel in the automotive industry, 
for AM manufacturing, and enables diverse designs and applications in 
Automotive and in other industrial sectors.

The newly developed metal powder materials DPLA (Dual Phase Low Alloy) and FSLA 
(Free Sintering Low Alloy) meet similar requirements for mechanical properties 
as DP600 (HCT600X/C), such as higher ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and low 
yield strength (YS) to UTS ratio, and can be used in Laser Powder Bed Fusion 
(DPLA) and Binder Jetting 
tting/] (FSLA) respectively - a true world first for these two additive 
manufacturing processes. The powder materials as well as parts manufactured 
with these materials are available for purchase immediately. 

Target customers are the automotive industry - for example, to adapt the design 
of automotive sheet metal parts, or to develop completely new structural 
components - but also manufacturers in the industrial sector.

Capabilities of DPLA and FSLA go beyond the traditional automotive material 

It's important to understand that DPLA and FSLA are more than the traditional 
automotive material DP600 (HCT600X/C) simply translated into AM. The new powder 
materials are specialized for additive manufacturing with regard to 
spreadability, laser absorption (Laser AM) and sinterability (Binder Jetting). 
As Christopher Schaak, Technology Manager for Binder Jetting at GKN Additive, 
explains: "Traditional DP600 offers specific standardized mechanical properties 
achieved by heat treatment. 

"The dual-phase steel AM materials developed by GKN Additive on the other hand 
are very flexible in their characteristics, as their mechanical properties can 
be tuned more widely by the heat treatment after the laser or binder jetting 
process." This enables a variety of different use cases in the industrial 
sector as well and makes the material an interesting candidate for a wide 
spectrum of customers, as already shown in the IDAM project 

"By using a subsequent heat treatment process to achieve the desired properties 
with the material within a wide range (medium to high strength properties), an 
AM provider can use an established printing process that does not need to be 
changed," says Sebastian Bluemer, Technology Manager Laser AM at GKN Additive. 
"This allows streamlining of internal processes and enables a faster product 

Before using DPLA and FSLA, GKN would first receive desired characteristics 
from a customer and then had to develop and qualify a new material for the 
laser powder bed fusion or binder jetting process to specifically meet these 
demands. This took significantly more time than the newly developed materials 
(DPLA/FSLA) with their predefined wide property field, where different 
mechanical characteristics can be achieved with one developed printing process, 
simply by varying the subsequent heat treatment.

New design possibilities, faster functional validation, potential for weight 

For manufacturers in the automotive sector for example, these two materials 
offer a new level of design freedom and potential for weight reduction. "With 
these AM processes, manufacturers in the Automotive industry can construct body 
parts differently than what was possible with traditional sheet metal parts. If 
you look at a tailored blank, many sheet- metal parts and support parts need to 
be formed and joined together to achieve a certain stiffness. By using 
structural components printed with AM on the other hand, you would need less 
process steps and less material, leading to cost optimization and a weight 
reduction," explains Christopher Schaak.

Furthermore, the time it takes for a new product to enter functional validation 
can be significantly shortened through AM processes. "Our customers want to 
know what the new AM material can achieve in their respective use cases," says 
Sebastian Bluemer, "and how it can be used. It's faster to print parts with AM 
than to retool complete traditional production lines and manufacture the parts 
the conventional way. This means that AM is a good solution to quickly and 
functionally validate a material and a component, and to analyze faster and 
more efficiently, whether the material can help with a specific application or 

Besides optimizing existing designs, both Binder Jetting and Laser Powder Bed 
Fusion with the new material can also be used to develop completely new designs 
(Design for Additive Manufacturing), for example bionic structures – which is 
where Additive Manufacturing truly shows its power. 

Relevant Links: 
Download the FSLA and DPLA Material Datasheet 
Join our Binder AM Business Case Challenge 

About GKN Additive

GKN Additive is a digital manufacturer of advanced AM parts and materials for 
prototypes, medium series, and the aftermarket, striving to push new 
technologies to the limit to make them simpler, faster and more accessible. GKN 
Additive is backed by GKN Powder Metallurgy's expertise in powder production, 
metal processing and an engineering network of over 6,000 employees in 29 
locations around the world.

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Contact for journalists: 
Susanne Trautmann 
Global Marketing Manager Additive Manufacturing 
+49 (0)1516 4044890

Source: GKN Additive