One of the most versatile steels, 4140 is characterized by its toughness, abrasion resistance, and impact resistance, making it a great all-purpose steel for industrial applications.
ABOUT THE MATERIAL
A versatile alloy with applications that include aerospace, tool and die manufacturing, the oil and gas industries, as well as automotive, agricultural and defense sectors, 4140 steel displays an excellent general tooling and end-use material due to its high strength-to-weight ratio, torsional strength and general toughness.
A low alloy steel that contains chromium, molybdemum, and manganese, 4140 is typically used to create gears, spindles, fixtures, jigs and many other parts, including:
- Connecting Rods
- Sheet Metal Tooling
- Pump Shafts
Using the BMD process, users can quickly fabricate a wide variety of parts for testing against real-world conditions. Printing in 4140 using the Studio System can also allow shops to cost-effectively create custom tools for small and specialty jobs, while still keeping per-part costs low.
APPLICATION EXAMPLE #1
About the Part
A common component in many types of machinery, mechanical couplings are used to connect two rotating parts and are available in a wide variety of configurations. Where off-the-shelf parts don’t suffice, though, custom couplings must be fabricated for the specific application – a process that can be both time-consuming and expensive. This coupling is used to attach a motor in a hopper metering system.
The complex geometry and fine features of this coupling make it difficult and expensive to machine. Using the Studio System, the design team can produce a prototype in a matter of days, then test its functionality in the machinery where it would be used. Printing this part allows engineers to create working models of machinery faster and with less expense.
4140’s high torsional strength enables it to stand up to the stresses couplings must withstand on a day-to-day basis.
APPLICATION EXAMPLE #2
About the Part
A key component in combustion engines, the aptly-named connecting rod is used to connect the piston head to the crankshaft. During combustion, connecting rods experience significant loads and must endure high temperatures, so functional testing must be conducted using metal parts. This connecting rod shows one iteration in the design of the part for combustion engines.
The ability to create functional prototype parts in a matter of days, and then rapidly iterate on those designs ensures engineers can develop the most efficient components and validate how they perform before committing to the manufacture of potentially millions of parts via casting or forging.
4140 is capable of withstanding the high temperatures and mechanical stresses experienced by connecting rods, making it an ideal material choice for this application.
APPLICATION EXAMPLE #3
Press Brake Tooling
About the Part
Press brake tools are used to create predetermined bends in sheet metal, and have a wide range of applications ranging from the production of heavy-duty metal parts, to electronics enclosures to construction, to name just a few. This tool is used to create a custom bend angle in aluminum.
The long lead times and increased costs that accompany custom tooling make it impractical for smaller or specialty jobs. Printing allows shops to quickly create custom tools and take on specialty jobs while still keeping per-part costs low.
4140 is an excellent choice for the production of press brake tools due to its toughness and resistance to impact. Over thousands of uses, a tool printed in 4140 will resist wear far better than other materials.
4140 is one of 6 core materials for the Studio System, the other 5 are 17-4 PH, 316 L, H13, Copper and Alloy 625.
*Article from DesktopMetal