Aluminium smelter Constellium said this week that its proprietary aluminium additive manufacturing powder Aheadd CP1 has been approved for use in Formula 1 race cars beginning next year. As a result, the firm has teamed up with Velo3D and PWR Advanced Cooling Technology to begin providing new, more efficient, aluminium heat exchangers to Formula 1 teams.
Constellium’s proprietary powder is a mix of aluminium, iron, and zirconium and is designed specifically for 3D printing. The mix has the advantages of high strength and ductility, excellent thermal/electrical conductivity, high productivity processing, and simplified post-processing without disadvantages like volatile elements, rare earths, silicon, or ceramic particle additions.
Alireza Arbab, Head of the Additive Manufacturing team at Constellium C-TEC, said in a press release that approval for use in Formula 1 cars is a major step forward.
“We are proud to have our high-performance additive manufacturing aluminium powder approved for use on Formula 1 race cars. Our customers can now develop a wide range of high-performance components, ranging from highly complex heat exchangers to structural parts. The benefits include previously impossible designs, cost-efficient parts, reduced machine utilization time and better ROI.”
Mark Booker, PWR Technical Project Manager, noted the advantages and benefits of the aluminium additive manufacturing powder.
“Aheadd CP1 is a fantastic addition to our additive manufacturing services and Velo3D’s unparalleled print capabilities, and coupled with PWR’s brazed fin technology, it creates a unique performance differentiator for our customers. Our goal is to give our racing customers a superior advantage on the track and we look forward to seeing these teams win using new parts manufactured by PWR.”
Dr. Zachary Detweiler, Velo3D Vice President of Technology, said the powder is a product of customer input and demand.
“Our team is committed to listening to customers and to creating scalable solutions for metal AM materials. Aheadd CP1 is the first alloy qualified in our Augsburg, Germany European Technology Center.”
Constellium, based in France, was founded 1855 as Henri Merle et Compagnie and subsequently renamed Pechiney in 1950. Pechiney was purchased by Alcan in 2003, which was purchased by Rio Tinto in 2007. In 2011 Rio Tinto sold Alcan Engineered Products to Apollo Management (51%) and FSI (10%). Constellium produces rolled and extruded aluminium products from various alloys, bringing in €6.2 billion of revenue in 2021.