Velo3D, Inc., a California based metal additive manufacturing technology company for mission-critical parts, has qualified the copper-chromium-niobium alloy GRCop-42 for use in its Sapphire family of printers.
The GRCop-42 alloy was developed by NASA to manufacture parts in need of high-strength and high-conductivity, such as rocket engine combustion chambers with regenerative cooling. Velo3D customers can use the newly-developed material parameters to produce mission-critical parts with oxidation resistance and high creep strength at temperatures as high as 1400 degrees Fahrenheit.
“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,” said Benny Buller, Velo3D CEO and Founder. “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.”
GRCop-42 was developed by NASA in 1987 for use in harsh environments that are commonly found in rocket engine combustion chambers. The alloy was created after research teams identified ways to make improvements to previously-developed copper alloys. GRCop-42 stood out due to its ability to achieve higher thermal conductivity compared to its predecessor while achieving similar strength properties. In 2017, NASA developed parameters for GRCop-42’s use in additive manufacturing at its Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama and Glenn Research Center in Ohio.
Legacy metal AM has been greatly limited in its capabilities since the invention of 3D printing almost 30 years ago. This has prevented the technology from being used to create the most valuable and impactful parts, restricting its use to specific niches where the limitations were acceptable.