HRL Laboratories receives Aluminum Association registration for high-strength AM alloys

The lab is the first to successfully 3D print high-strength aluminum alloys, which it will soon commercialize

Research center HRL Laboratories has announced the commercialization of its 3D printed high-strength aluminum. The aluminum material has also received the first ever registration of an additive alloy from the Aluminum Association, which oversees alloy registration and product standards throughout industry.

HRL Laboratories’ high-strength aluminum powder has been granted registration number 7A77.50 from the Aluminum Association, while the printed alloy will be registered under number 7A77.60L. The registrations marks the first aluminum material to be added to the association’s new additive alloy registration system, which launched in February 2019 to reflect the increase in demand for AM alloys.

(Photo: HRL Laboratories)

“Essentially, this will connect us to this particular alloy composition forever,” said Hunter Martin, the lead scientist on the HRL team that created the alloy. “These alloy numbers will always be trackable back to HRL, like a DNA signature. When I first contacted the Aluminum Association about registering our alloy, they did not have a way to register alloys printed from powders, so they decided to create a new system for registration of additively manufactured materials—a first in the materials space.”

In 2017, HRL Laboratories became the first company to successfully 3D print high-strength aluminum grades, including Al7075 ad Al6061 alloys. The materials are now nearing commercial readiness thanks in part to the Aluminum Association registration.

Zak Eckel, a member of the HRL team, said, “We’re in the process of commercializing this material, which is already in high demand. As we scale up to commercial levels, AA registration validates our product. Companies who want the powder for their 3D printers can ask for its specific number, and it becomes a true commercial alloy.”

The ability to additively manufacture high-strength aluminum alloys could open up many opportunities in a range of industries, such as the automotive and aerospace. Notably, HRL Laboratories’ unique method for the materials can also be applied to other alloy families that are difficult to print, such as high-strength steels and nickel-based superalloys.

The Aluminum Association, which provides global standards, statistics and expert knowledge to manufacturers and policy makers, can itself help to bolster the adoption of AM aluminum grades with its new registration system.

Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault moved from her home of Montreal, Canada to the Netherlands in 2014 to pursue a master’s degree in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. It was during her time in Amsterdam that she became acquainted with 3D printing technology and began writing for a local additive manufacturing news platform. Now based in France, Tess has over two and a half years experience writing, editing and publishing additive manufacturing content with a particular interest in women working within the industry. She is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM industry.

Recent Posts

Stratasys focuses on 3D printing in transport with Rail Industry Solution

At Frankfurt this week, 3D printing giant Stratasys announced a new additive-based solution for the rail industry aimed at keeping…

45 mins ago

ExOne and ANSYS developing simulation software for sintering binder jetted parts

Faced with increased competition and under new management, the ExOne Company is now increasingly focused on simplifying binder jetting for…

2 hours ago

Oerlikon AM 3D printing rocket components for United Launch Alliance

Oerlikon AM, the additive division of Swiss tech group Oerlikon, has announced a partnership with United Launch Alliance (ULA) at…

2 hours ago

GKN Additive to mass produce energy-efficient industrial burners

GKN Additive has announced a new partnership with Germany-based Kueppers Solutions, an expert in industrial combustion technology. Through the collaboration,…

3 hours ago

SPEE3D Metal 3D Printing Technology to be Deployed by the Royal Australian Navy

The Australian Government today announced a $1.5 million investment into a two-year pilot of SPEE3D technology for the Royal Australian…

7 hours ago

ASTM and TÜV SÜD sign MoU to promote adoption of AM

Global standards organization ASTM International and German certification organization TÜV SÜD have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at…

21 hours ago