U.K. University Teaming with Al-Alloy Provider to Investigate Metallurgy in AM Applications

January 12, 2021

Aluminum Materials Technologies, a provider of alloy feedstock for aerospace-part production, and The Advanced Materials and Processing Laboratory (AMPLab) at the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom) announced a collaboration to further the understanding in the metallurgy of high-strength, high-temperature A20X aluminum alloy in additive manufacturing (AM). 

Following many successful projects by the university to build sample parts for other interested parties, the two organizations are working together to look further into the characteristic properties of the alloy produced via laser powder-bed fusion and directed energy deposition processes, and also are investigating the effects on changes in composition, heat treatments and AM process parameters on the properties in AM components.

A20X, an Aluminum Materials Technologies family of high-strength aluminum-copper alloys, is used mainly in the aerospace and high-end motorsports sectors. The A20X alloy group includes MMPDS-approved A205 casting alloy, FIA-approved A205/F1 casting alloy, silver-free A207 casting alloy and 2A05 (A205) powder, and 2B05 (A205/F1) powder for laser powder-bed fusion AM applications. The highly refined microstructure, resulting from a unique solidification mechanism, leads to near fully isotropic properties that provide greater strength, fatigue and thermal characteristics compared to other alloys, according to company officials.

“The university’s experience with this alloy dates back to the early days of its introduction as a metal powder for AM, and we have carried out many successful projects characterizing the physical properties of candidate parts,“ explains Moataz Attallah, professor of advanced materials processing and director of AMPLab at the School of Metallurgy & Materials at the University of Birmingham. “Now we are working closely with AMT to dig deeper into what makes this alloy so unique, and through our selection of AM tools and vast array of materials characterization techniques, we are in a great position to make that happen.”

Adds Martin McMahon, business development director for Aluminum Materials Technologies: “A20X has been successfully adopted into fully qualified production of aerospace components via AM. The reliability of the A205 alloy has been proven to be more than adequate in high-strength, high-ductility and high-operating-temperature applications, so now we are building on our extensive development programs to create an even greater understanding of the fundamental metallurgy of the AM alloy.”

Industry-Related Terms: Additive manufacturing, Directed energy deposition, Metal powder
View Glossary of 3D Metal Printing Terms

 

See also: Aluminum Materials Technology

Technologies: Metal Powders

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