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Aeromet Achieves High Strength Aluminum Powder for Additive Manufacturing

Aeromet A20X aluminum powder© by Aeromet

Aeromet announced that its patented aluminum alloys powder A20X™ has achieved an ultimate tensile strength (UTS) of over 500 MPa — making it one of the strongest commercially available aluminum powders.

A20X Powder was originally derived from the MMPDS-approved A20X casting alloy, which is in use by a global network of aerospace casting suppliers. The powder is an aluminum-copper alloy with a highly-refined microstructure and a unique solidification mechanism, which is said to give it greater strength, fatigue, and thermal characteristics compared to other powder alloys.

The development and commercialization of the powder began with a collaboration between Aeromet and Renishaw in August 2017 — under which the two companies would explore ways to optimize the processing techniques for the A20X Powder on Renishaw additive manufacturing systems. In 2018, Aeromet launched the HighSAP project, which involved support from Renishaw; Rolls-Royce, as part of its aerospace division; and Phoenix Scientific Industries Ltd., a supplier of atomization systems. The HighSAP project achieved £150,000 in financial backing from the UK’s National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) in April 2018.

“Since bringing the A20X alloy to market for additive manufacturing 5 years ago we have seen significant adoption for high-strength, design-critical applications,” said Mike Bond, director of Advanced Material Technology at Aeromet. “By working with Rolls-Royce, Renishaw, and PSI we have optimized processing parameters that led to record-breaking results, opening up new design possibilities for aerospace and advanced engineering applications.”

The HighSAP project thoroughly tested the A20X alloy powder and proved that it was able to produce heat-treated parts with a UTS of 511 MPa, a yield strength of 440 MPa, and an elongation of 13%. Crucially, parts additively manufactured with the powder maintain high-strength and fatigue properties even at elevated temperatures — outperforming other leading aluminum powders.

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