By Mark Norfolk on Friday, July 17th, 2015
Fabrisonic has had several inquiries lately about the use of tantalum in 3D Printing. Fabrisonic has used tantalum in the past for cladding. Tantalum has a very high resistance to corrosion and thus can be used to coat components that will operate in a corrosive environment. It turns out that tantalum has many other exciting properties. Several customers have asked if we can incorporate tantalum into aluminum aerospace structures for radiation shielding. Tantalum is a good absorber of neutrons and a thin layer of tantalum can protect sensitive electronics. This has many space applications, but we have also found several terrestrial applications for neutron shielding.
Below you can find a feasibility plate where Fabrisonic 3D printed layers of 6061 aluminum and also printed a .008″ thick foil of tantalum. This proves that tantalum can easily be integrated into 3D printed aluminum structures for applications like satellites.