Aluminum and its alloys are hot materials for metal PBF AM technologies though not as much for DED processes. Optomec is changing that by adding aluminum alloys to its Directed Energy Deposition (DED) systems for both part production and repair. This innovation can be used to deposit any aluminum alloy, including those recently developed specifically for improved properties with AM processing.
This development for the Optomec DED process opens the transportation and aerospace industries to AM and repair of complex aluminum alloy parts using powder-based DED. Additionally, the use of Optomec’s LENS simultaneous 5-axis system enables the processing of aluminum alloy parts with complex geometries without the need for support structures. Deposition of aluminum alloys in a controlled atmosphere glove-box with very low levels of oxygen and moisture ensures achievement of components with superior mechanical properties.
“Our engineers have developed process parameters for aluminum alloys to provide an excellent surface finish, high deposition rates and a density of ~99.9%,” said David Otazu, LENS Applications Engineer. “With this advancement, Optomec LENS systems can successfully process all common materials used for AM including steels, titanium, nickel, copper, and now, aluminum.”