Aug 9, 2017 | By Tess

Renishaw, a UK-based metal 3D printing company, has announced a partnership with British aerospace and defense company Aeromet International Limited. Through their collaboration, both companies are seeking to establish additive manufacturing process parameters for Aeromet’s new aluminum alloy, A20X.

The material, which recently debuted at the Paris Air Show, has the potential to be used with Renishaw’s metal 3D printing systems, and could have significant applications in producing parts for the aerospace, automotive, and energy sectors.

By working together, Renishaw and Aeromet are hopeful they can establish optimal processes and settings for 3D printing the new high-performance aluminum alloy on Renishaw’s AM systems.

Aeromet’s new A20X family of materials includes the A205 casting alloy and AM205 powder for additive manufacturing, both of which are approved by the Metallic Materials Properties Development and Standardisation (MMPDS) organization.

As the aerospace company explains, it initially developed the aluminum-copper alloy for the purpose of casting parts. Only recently has it branched out to offer an A20X powder that is suitable for use in additive manufacturing.

Aeromet describes its new material as possessing a “highly refined microstructure and a unique solidification mechanism.” These features reportedly give the material better strength, fatigue, and thermal characteristics than many other alloys.

“A20X is being rapidly adopted for additive manufacture of aero engine, airframe, space, defence and automotive parts,” explained Mike Bond, Director of the AMT division of Aeromet.

Renishaw’s AM400 metal 3D printer build chamber

“Its unique combination of high strength, high ductility, and performance at high operating temperatures make it ideal for light-weight, stressed components," he added. "We look forward to making processing techniques for this innovative alloy more widely available to accelerate its adoption.”

Renishaw will also work with Aeromet to explore different heat treatment processes in order to find the one that offers the most optimal properties with parts 3D printed from A20X.

Marc Saunders, the director of Global Solutions Centres at Renishaw, stated: “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.”

Marc Saunders, Director of Renishaw’s Global Solutions Centres

“We are working closely with Aeromet to qualify this exciting new alloy on our machines," he added. "Through our network of AM Solutions Centres, we can help manufacturers to develop industrial AM processes using A20X."

Once the material and its print settings have been established, both companies say they will offer A20X components to their clients and will release data on the processing techniques and material properties.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Materials

 

 

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