Aluminum Association Issues World’s First Material Designation System For 3D Printing

Aluminum Association Issues World’s First Material Designation System For 3D Printing

The Aluminum Association announced yesterday a new material registration record describing standards for aluminium powder utilized in additive manufacturing.

The new standards, christened “Purple Sheets” by the Association, are the first new material registration record in almost two decades. These standards provide alloy designations and chemical composition limits for the aluminium powders used in the ever-growing practice of 3D printing. To date, the aluminium industry is the first and only industry to successfully develop such a standardized system unique to additive manufacturing.

In addition to releasing the new standards, the Association has already certified an aluminium alloy against the standards. HRL Laboratories, LLC’s high-strength aluminium alloy was assigned registration number 7A77.50 under the new standards, with the printed alloy being given registration number 7A77.60L.

Jerome Fourmann, global technical director at Rio Tinto Aluminum and chairman of the association’s Technical Committee on Product Standards, says the new standards are a significant milestone for the sector.

“The purple sheets are a true game-changer for the aluminum industry. For the first time ever, a materials industry has developed a designation system specific to additive manufacturing, opening tremendous growth potential through standardization.”

“For decades, the Aluminum Association’s alloy and temper designation system has helped companies to gain wider acceptance in commercial applications – promoting the material’s use in the marketplace,” opined the Aluminum Association’s president and CEO Heidi Brock. “The purple sheets are the next chapter in that story as we look toward a future of aluminum in additive manufacturing and 3D printing.”

The Association said the purple sheets, which join its rainbow sheet series, will be available to the industry by year’s end. Firms interested in including their products in the first edition are encouraged to contact the Association directly.