Alloyed Receives Hybrid-AM Research Grant as Part of Auto-Parts Consortium

May 26, 2021


Alloyed-CHAMPPAlloyed has announced that, as part of a consortium, it has been awarded a grant to research, develop and test an innovative hybrid production process to address a number of the key limitations of additive manufacturing (AM) for the automotive sector, specifically electric vehicles (EVs). The Casting-Hybrid-Additive-Manufacturing-Parts-Production (CHAMPP) consortium, which received the grant, features three key partners: Alloyed, Brunel University London's Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST), and Gestamp and its affiliate Autotech.

CHAMPP was initiated to investigate a hybrid approach to the production of parts by considering the benefits of both casting and AM. It leverages Alloyed’s expertise in developing alloys using its Alloy by Design (ABD) platform for both casting and AM, and the capabilities of its Engine platform for increasing AM performance, as well as the expertise of BCAST and Gestamp in their respective fields of casting research and auto-parts manufacturing. 

The consortium’s vision: combine the low cost-per-part capabilities of casting with the design and production flexibility of AM. In this way, automotive manufacturers can cast standard components across multiple models, and subsequently use metal AM to customize those standard parts for specific variants at the volumes required. 

While AM offers automotive designers and manufacturers the potential to overcome EV challenges related to heavy batteries and the need for lightweighting, it is still limited by the speed of the process, maximum part size and a relatively high cost-per-part that may reach twice that of casting, according to Alloyed officials.

The CHAMPP project aims to build on the consortium's prior alloy and hybridization research to develop and test new aluminum alloys better suited to future automotive needs. The focus will be on developing alloys that can first be cast and then subsequently built on to produce custom/complex features using AM techniques with a compatible alloy that maintains mechanical properties and performance.

“It is vital for AM, if it is to fulfil its true potential, that speed, size and cost limitations are addressed fully,” says Sajjad Amirkhanlou, Alloyed program director. “Through the CHAMPP program we will tackle these issues head-on by taking a multi-disciplinary approach and combining AM with an efficient and optimized casting process.”
Industry-Related Terms: Additive manufacturing
View Glossary of 3D Metal Printing Terms

 

See also: Alloyed

Technologies: Applications

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