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ORNL Prints Molybdenum Alloy

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory has efficiently demonstrated the printing of an alloy consisting of titanium and molybdenum , the unpronounceable 42nd factor on the periodic desk.

So what is this wondrous steel and what exactly are its applications?


First up, it’s pronounced Muh-lib-dunham , or just “Mo” for short.

Molybdenum itself is valued for its capability to withstand high temps without expanding or getting rid of its strength too much. In addition, it has high corrosion resistance and weldability. Therefore, it is employed in metallurgy for the enhancement of alloy metals. Applications involves glass-to-steel seals, light, furnace shields, and semiconductors.

Almost all of the molybdenum found in alloys on the planet end up in a variety of steel alloys such as structural metal or stainless steel, with a small amount ending up in a variety of superalloys.

Molybdenum (Image credit rating: ORNL)

Because it is usually a reactive, brittle metallic with a higher melting point, molybdenum is hard to manufacture via classic methods. The reactivity as well makes molybdenum complicated to printing with normally, as contaminants can result in grain defects in the printed part, ultimately leading to crack propagation.

On the other hand, the team of experts possess demonstrated that by making the powders within an argon environment they are able to create powders with reduced oxidation.

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The created molybdenum and titanium carbide powders had been then surface up in a ball mill to make sure a homogenous mix before being fused into the molybdenum titanium carbide alloy by usage of an Arcam EBM program.

The resulting alloy powder mix consisting of the molybdenum and titanium carbide was deposited in sandwich-fashion, producing a molybdenum composition with the titanium carbide contaminants discretely scattered throughout. Furthermore, pure molybdenum samples were printed.

“Our results confirmed that fabrication from a mechanically alloyed metallic matrix composite powder is normally feasible,” explained Mike Kirka at ORNL.

“The structures formed by the fused powders can withstand high temperatures, indicating that molybdenum and its alloys can be utilised for aerospace and strength change applications.”

The study findings have been released in the Journal of Manufacturing, that you can access at this link.