British Firms Announce Collaboration to Develop Aerospace Aluminium Alloy for 3D Printing

British Firms Announce Collaboration to Develop Aerospace Aluminium Alloy for 3D Printing

Two British firms have announced a partnership to collaborate on efforts to utilize a new aluminium alloy in additive manufacturing.

Gloucestershire’s Renishaw plc and Worcester’s Aeromet International Limited are working together to develop new processing techniques for the latter firm’s A20X aluminium alloy powder in heat-treatment processes as well. The alloy, which was debuted at the Paris Air Show in June, is designed for high-strength, high-performance applications in industries including the aerospace sector.

The aluminium-copper alloy family is comprised of several materials, including Metallic Materials Properties Development and Standardisation (MMPDS) approved A205 casting alloy and AM205 powder for additive manufacturing. The alloy boasts a highly-refined microstructure and a one-of-a-kind solidification process that improves strength, fatigue resistance, and temperature tolerance characteristics.

“A20X is being rapidly adopted for additive manufacture of aero engine, airframe, space, defence and automotive parts,” explained Mike Bond, Director of AMT a Division of Aeromet. “It’s unique combination of high strength, high ductility and performance at high operating temperatures make it ideal for light-weight, stressed components. We look forward to making processing techniques for this innovative alloy more widely available to accelerate its adoption.”

“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,” elaborated Marc Saunders, Director of Global Solutions Centres at Renishaw. “We are working closely with Aeromet to qualify this exciting new alloy on our machines. Through our network of AM Solutions Centres, we can help manufacturers to develop industrial AM processes using A20X.”

The firms promised more information regarding new processing techniques and material properties information would be released in the near future.