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British Firms Explore Additive Manufacturing Parameters for Aluminum Alloy

3D printed part – Aeromet International© by Aeromet International

Renishaw and Aeromet International Limited announced a collaboration to establish additive manufacturing process parameters and material properties for Aeromet’s A20X® aluminum alloy. The two companies will work together to optimize the processing techniques for the high-performance alloy on Renishaw metal additive manufacturing (AM) systems. They are also investigating a range of heat treatment regimes to deliver optimum properties in AM components.

A20X is a family of next generation, high-strength aluminum alloys, developed and patented by Aeromet. The alloy family includes the Metallic Materials Properties Development and Standardization (MMPDS) approved A205 casting alloy and AM205 powder for additive manufacturing. A20X is an aluminum-copper alloy with a highly-refined microstructure and a unique solidification mechanism, giving it greater strength, fatigue and thermal characteristics compared to other alloys. Originally developed as a casting alloy in order to give the superior performance of aluminium copper alloys with the castability behavior of aluminum silicon, A20X cast parts are currently available from Aeromet and a global network of licensees. A20X powder is available for use in additive manufacturing.

“A20X is being rapidly adopted for additive manufacture of aero engine, airframe, space, defense, and automotive parts,” said Mike Bond, director of AMT, a Division of Aeromet. “It’s unique combination of high strength, high ductility and performance at high operating temperatures make it ideal for light-weight, stressed components. We look forward to making processing techniques for this innovative alloy more widely available to accelerate its adoption.”

Marc Saunders, director of Global Solutions Centres at Renishaw added, “Renishaw’s metal AM systems feature high power lasers, an inert processing environment, and open parameters, making them ideal for supporting innovative new materials like A20X. We are working closely with Aeromet to qualify this exciting new alloy on our machines. Through our network of AM Solutions Centres, we can help manufacturers to develop industrial AM processes using A20X.”

The two companies plan to release processing techniques and material properties information in the coming months.

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