Constellium is working with multiple partners to supply Aheadd® CP1 aluminum additive manufacturing powder for the manufacture of highly efficient, compact, and lightweight heat exchangers for Formula 1 vehicles. The alloy was approved by Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body over Formula 1 and other global motorsports, for use in Formula 1 cars beginning in the 2024 season.
“We are proud to have our high-performance additive manufacturing aluminum powder approved for use on Formula 1 race cars,” said Alireza Arbab, head of the Additive Manufacturing team at Constellium C-TEC. “Our customers can now develop a wide range of high-performance components, ranging from highly complex heat exchangers to structural parts. The benefits include previously impossible designs, cost-efficient parts, reduced machine utilization time and better ROI.”
The effort to develop these components was largely driven by PWR Advanced Cooling Technology, a supplier of cooling products who works with many professional motorsports teams to provide them with finished, tested, and ready-to-use heat exchangers. PWR will use the Aheadd CP1 powder to manufacture heat exchangers for Formula 1 using Sapphire metal additive printers from Velo3D, Inc. — along with a variety of other components for their high-performance customers.
“Our team is committed to listening to customers and enhancing our technology to meet their needs, so when PWR came to us with a challenge of qualifying a new alloy with a first-of-its-kind parameter set, we were thrilled to partner with them on the project,” said Dr. Zachary Detweiler, vice president of Technology for Velo3D. “Aheadd CP1 is the first alloy qualified in our Augsburg, Germany European Technology Center. Our American and European teams are both adept at creating scalable solutions for metal AM materials and we encourage companies who need customized material development for their applications to contact us about their specific requirements.”
Aheadd CP1 is a pioneering aluminum-iron-zirconium powder solution designed specifically for additive manufacturing without volatile elements, rare earths, silicon, or ceramic particle additions. The alloy provides multiple advantages. It is thermally stable up to 300°C, provides excellent corrosion resistance, and is highly isotropic. Furthermore, printed parts have excellent surface finish and stable microstructures. In addition to the standard 50-micron layer thickness that all of Velo3D’s printers use, Aheadd CP1 is also being qualified to print in 100-micron layers, providing customers with a balance between finished part performance and system throughput.
“Aheadd CP1 is a fantastic addition to our additive manufacturing services and Velo3D’s unparalleled print capabilities, and coupled with PWR’s brazed fin technology, it creates a unique performance differentiator for our customers,” said Mark Booker, PWR technical project manager. “Our goal is to give our racing customers a superior advantage on the track and we look forward to seeing these teams win using new parts manufactured by PWR.”