For many people, the scope of platinum seems to be limited to decorations and is only added to extremely rare and precious jewelry. But in fact, the application of platinum is far more than the jewelry industry. In the fields of oil and gas, electronics, medicine, aerospace and other fields, platinum has a place.
Nowadays, some research institutes and enterprises in South Africa have successfully tried to use pure platinum as 3D printing materials. Participating in this engineering unit include: Central University of Technology, Northwestern University and Valhe University of Technology, as well as platinum manufacturer Lonmin.
Platinum is one of the most dense metals available today, with extreme corrosion resistance and high flexibility. The above team is keenly aware that if Platinum can be added efficiently in the manufacturing industry, its performance is expected to reach its full potential.
Lonmin's marketing director Wilma Swarts said: "3D printing technology has been in the ascendant recently, and the introduction of platinum materials will greatly expand the scope of application of precious metals." As early as the end of 2016, the team first used a 3D printer to make a platinum ring, but the mold effect was not ideal. They used the repeated research since then, adjusted to the printer's parameter settings, and changed the platinum powder addition frequency.
Not long ago, the team once again demonstrated their research and development results, and finally showed that the shape of the platinum ring is quite close to the ideal geometric ring. They use platinum powders with a purity of 99.99%. Swarts added: "Our research and development results show that 3D printing technology and platinum metal applications have extraordinary potential. Through the use of special durable printing materials, 3D printing can fully show up in high-end manufacturing, the whole social and economic development will usher in New opportunities."
Swarts also revealed that with the successful application of platinum in 3D printing, many industries including medical implant materials and high-performance circuit board production will use this technology in the future.