voestalpine commissions 3D sand printing facility for steel casting

voestalpine says it has commissioned “Europe’s most modern 3D sand printing plant for cast steel components in the high weight range” at its Traisen site in Lower Austria. The new technology, which enables additive manufacturing of sophisticated castings based on quartz sand, “saves production time and is more environmentally friendly than the previous process,” according to the company. The voestalpine foundry in Traisen, a subsidiary of the Steel Division of the voestalpine Group, has installed the first printer in its new 3D sand printing competence centre, with a second printer to follow in spring 2022.

voestalpine has been expanding its activities in metallic 3D printing in recent years. “The new sand printing facility in Traisen means a significant technology update for steel casting, which will enormously strengthen our competitiveness in this area,” the company continues. With the use of 3D sand printing technology in steel casting, the company is a pioneer in Europe and can offer customers even more individualised, complete solutions in more complex designs. The process uses sand moulds produced directly from CAD data using 3D printers, into which the liquid steel is poured. The sand moulds are created by repeatedly applying 300 micrometre thick layers of quartz sand bonded with a chemical binder. Large sand moulds can also be printed as multiple individual parts and then joined together. “The previous use of elaborate wooden models is no longer necessary,” voestalpine states. Moulds for complex castings, in particular, can be produced much faster and closer to the contours. The final machining in-house and the work at the customer’s site – such as welding and forging – “are significantly reduced or eliminated”. The innovative production process is mainly used for castings for the energy industry and the automotive and railway sectors.

Tube / Hall 3 / D48

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