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Stainless Steel 316L

direct metal Laser Sintering
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 Stainless Steel 316L printed using Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) offers consistent mechanical properties and finish with fine layer heights. The raw finish of the part is granular with a matte appearance, but it can be post-processed to achieve various finishes. This material and process combination finds applications in industries such as aerospace, automotive, and medical devices, thanks to its customization capabilities, high corrosion resistance, and biocompatibility. Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) is particularly advantageous for printing small, complex, hollow, or lattice structures, while simple, bulky, or dense parts may be better suited for CNC machining.

Average Lead Time:

8-12 Business Days

Machines Used: 

EOS M100

Colors Available

Stainless Steel 316L part
Stainless Steel 316L

Material Overview

Stainless Steel 316L is a popular material choice for additive manufacturing, specifically using the Powder Bed Fusion technology known as Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). This manufacturing process offers numerous advantages, including the ability to achieve consistent mechanical properties and a high-quality finish, even with fine layer heights down to 30 µm.

Mechanical Properties

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) stainless steel 316L exhibits unique mechanical properties due to its layer-by-layer sintering process. It typically demonstrates high tensile strength, often exceeding that of conventional 316L stainless steel, making it well-suited for high-stress applications. The material also exhibits notable hardness and durability, which is enhanced by its fine microstructure. DMLS 316L is characterized by good ductility and toughness, although slightly less than its wrought counterpart due to its inherent porosity and grain structure.

Chemical Compatibility

DMLS stainless steel 316L is chemically similar to traditional 316L, offering excellent resistance to a variety of chemicals, including acids, bases, and organic substances. It's notably resistant to chloride-induced corrosion, making it suitable for marine environments. The material withstands high temperatures well, maintaining integrity in chemical processing settings. However, like conventional 316L, it can be prone to stress corrosion cracking in harsh environments. DMLS 316L is inert against most pharmaceuticals and food products, ideal for medical and food-related applications. Its pitting and crevice corrosion resistance is significant, though manufacturing specifics like porosity may slightly alter its chemical properties.

Thermal Properties

With thermal properties akin to conventional 316L stainless steel, parts produced with DMLS have a high melting point and good thermal conductivity. It efficiently withstands high-temperature environments, maintaining structural integrity under thermal stress. The material's coefficient of thermal expansion is comparable to standard 316L, ensuring stability across temperature variations. Its heat resistance is notable, making it suitable for applications involving elevated temperatures. However, the layer-by-layer manufacturing process of DMLS may introduce microstructural differences, potentially affecting thermal conductivity and heat dissipation characteristics slightly. Overall, DMLS 316L remains a reliable choice for high-temperature applications, offering durability and stability.

Applications

This material is extensively used in industries where strength, durability, and corrosion resistance are paramount. Its applications span aerospace, automotive, and marine sectors for parts exposed to harsh environments. In the medical field, it's utilized for surgical instruments, implants, and prosthetic devices due to its biocompatibility and sterilization resilience. DMLS 316L's precision and strength make it ideal for complex, custom-designed components in engineering and robotics. It's also employed in the energy sector for high-performance parts in oil and gas exploration. The material's ability to withstand extreme conditions makes it a top choice for critical components in demanding applications.

Datasheets

Applications

  • Complex assemblies & lattices
  • Thick wall parts
  • Bio-compatible parts
  • Brackets & enclosures
  • Wear-and-tear parts

Material Characteristics

Strength
Flexibility
Durability
Finish
Thermal Stability