3D Systems & Newport News develop CuNi and NiCu alloys

30 March 2021

3D Systems announced that it is collaborating with Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division to develop Copper-Nickel (CuNi) and Nickel-Copper (NiCu) alloys for powder bed fusion additive manufacturing. These new materials could allow Newport News Shipbuilding to additively manufacture parts that are traditionally cast – reducing lead times by up to 75% to improve supply chain efficiency. 

CuNi and NiCu are well-known alloys that are corrosion-resistant, which makes them ideal for marine applications. If these alloys could be formulated for use with metal 3D printing technologies, lead times for some of these parts could be reduced to a fraction of the traditional procurement time.

3D Systems is working with Newport News Shipbuilding to select the alloy composition, design the process parameter experiments, and qualify parts which includes tensile and other material testing. With these new materials, Newport News Shipbuilding will be able to use their metal AM solution to produce replacement parts for castings as well as valves, housings, and brackets. With the successful use of these materials demonstrated, 3D Systems anticipates they will be added to its materials portfolio to address a breadth of applications where corrosion is a major concern such as oil and gas production and refining, and utility energy production.