Optomec has developed Pure Copper using 3D printing DED system

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According to the product manager for Optomec LENS systems Tom Cobbs, the “Pure copper is a big challenge for DED systems because of its high reflectance,(…), The infrared wavelengths on most standard, laser-based AM systems are not readily absorbed by copper, making it difficult to establish a melt pool as the laser energy is reflected back into the source, causing all kinds of havoc. Our laser-based solution is virtually immune to any back reflection, so the laser can operate at full power on reflective surfaces without any difficulty. Optomec engineers have developed process parameters to account for thermal conductivity differences, as well as big changes in absorption and have demonstrated efficient DED builds with pure copper.

The company argues that establishing a Directed Energy Deposition process for pure copper is particularly important for designers of heat exchangers in a variety of industrial applications such as aerospace and chemical processing industries. The Optomec copper process is also applicable to alloys of copper such as bronze, brass and cupronickel.

We see this as a major milestone for LENS and DED additive manufacturing — because working with copper is essential for many of our customers. Copper … enables the addition of high thermally-conductive features like cooling fins, the addition of soft metal sealing surfaces and high electrically-conductive surfaces for power transmission,(…)”

– Tom Cobbs, Product Manager

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Additive Manufacturing Magazine, Optomec Releases Pure Copper DED Process https://www.additivemanufacturing.media/news/optomec-releases-pure-copper-ded-process published on Jan21 2020, re-edited and published by João Andrade on Jan23 2020;

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