After extensive testing and development, UK-based foundry specialist Aeromet International is understandably excited to announce that its patented A20X aluminum alloy for additive manufacturing is one of the strongest commercially available aluminum powders for metal AM. The announcement follows a joint research project conducted by Aeromet, metal AM company Renishaw and aerospace giant Rolls-Royce.
Since Aeromet first brought its A20X alloy for AM—which is derived from MMPDS-approved A20X casting alloy—to market five years ago, the British company has continued to develop and refine its metal AM powder. Along this journey, the company partnered with Renishaw to establish AM process parameters and material properties for the aluminum alloy powder.
Today, the partners report that the 3D printing powder has successfully surpassed the critical 500 MPa UTS mark, officially making it one of the strongest aluminum alloy powders on the market for additive manufacturing.
The breakthrough achievement took place as part of a research project (HighSAP) with Aeromet, Renishaw and Rolls-Royce, which consisted of heat-treating parts 3D printed from A20X. Following the heat-treatment, the parts displayed an Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS) of 511 MPa, Yield Strength of 440 MPa and Elongation of 13%. These properties place the commercial AM powder at the forefront of high-strength aluminum powders for AM.
The joint project also demonstrated that the heat-treated A20X components maintained their strength and fatigue-resistant properties at elevated temperatures.
Mike Bond, Director of Advanced Material Technology at Aeromet, commented on the achievement, saying: “Since bringing the A20X alloy to market for additive manufacturing 5 years ago we have seen significant adoption for high-strength, design-critical applications. By working with Rolls-Royce, Renishaw and PSI we have optimised processing parameters that led to record-breaking results, opening up new design possibilities for aerospace and advanced engineering applications.”
The collaborative HighSAP project was led by Aeromet and brought on atomization expert PSI in addition to Renishaw and Rolls-Royce. The project was supported by funding from the UK’s National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP).