Alfa Romeo Racing, a Formula One team operated by Sauber Motorsport AG, is furthering its investment in additive manufacturing. The racing team, which already has four operational MetalFAB1 3D printers from Additive Industries, has purchased and installed a Hot Isostatic Press (HIP) system from Swedish company Quintus Technologies.
With High Pressure Heat Treatment (HPHT) capabilities in-house, Alfa Romeo Racing will be able to produce optimized metal 3D printed components at faster rates, giving them the competitive edge they need in the world of F1. The team has also joined the Quintus Care program, through which Quintus will offer support and services when needed.
“The partnership with Quintus is an important milestone on Sauber Engineering’s Additive Manufacturing journey. The implementation of the Hot Isostatic Pressing process adds massive value in bringing performance to our car as well as for the demanding needs of our customers,” said Christoph Hansen, Head of Technical Development Sauber Engineering AG. “By using Quintus’s HIP technology, the Sauber Group will be able to push the boundaries of what we do even further and bring the materials we produce to an outstanding level.”
Alfa Romeo Racing has installed Quintus’ QIH 21 M URQ system, a HIP system with high pressure heat treatment capabilities. The equipment is based on Quintus’ proprietary URQ technology, which combines heat treatment and cooling into one consolidated process. When used to treat additively manufactured parts, the HIP system densifies the metal, resulting in a part with maximum theoretical density, ductility and fatigue resistance.
Looking more closely at the QIH 21 M URQ system, it offers a hot work zone of 211 mm in diameter and 400 mm in height, as well as an operating temperature of 1,400°C and pressure of 30,000 psi (2,070 bar). Alfa Romeo Racing will leverage the sophisticated post-processing system to produce 3D printed parts that have optimized material performance.
As a partner of the Quintus Care program, Alfa Romeo Racing will pay a fixed annual cost for access to technical expertise and support. Quintus will thus support the F1 team so it can fully exploit the benefits of its heat treatment process for its automotive production.
“We are excited to be partnering with one of the most iconic Formula One teams—Alfa Romeo Racing,” said Jan Söderström, CEO of Quintus Technologies. “This collaboration brings together two organizations at the forefront of advanced development and product innovation in the AM field. Working with Alfa Romeo Racing also gives us at Quintus a unique opportunity to show a large audience how well the modern HIP technology optimized material properties.”