Project duration: 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2022
3D printing of metals, specifically known as Additive Manufacturing (AM), gained growing importance in the industry during recent years. AM is a technology based on the rapid melting of the metallic powder or wire feedstock and its solidification, layer by layer, into the desired forms. Heat sources used in AM processes can be electron beams, arcs or laser beams. Parts that cannot be produced with conventional methods, such as with complex shapes or lattice structures, are possible to be manufactured by AM. The spherical powders necessary for some AM processes require complex processes to be manufactured and handled. Especially the market for aluminium alloys still offers no powders specifically designed for AM (considering, for example, chemical composition) and the desired end product properties. In addition, aluminium powder for AM on the market contains high raw material Si content and is expensive.
The solution (technology)
The proposed SAMOA upscaling project aims to provide a technological basis for the efficient and sustainable use of the raw aluminium material in the whole process chain of AM. This includes an efficient design of chemical composition of high strength alloys, efficient production of standard and tailored powders, and energy- and material-efficient processing covering all relevant AM-methods (SLM, DMD, arc-wire). This holistic approach will cut costs, will reduce European dependence on CRM and boost the EU producers’ competitiveness. Focusses will be on the careful use and efficient reuse of aluminium alloys, on improving the sustainability of the powder usage during processing chains and on the recyclability of the materials up to a high technological readiness level. The reduction of Si in the developed aluminium alloy along with the increased strength of the product (reducing material needs) will lead to a cut of the production costs and a reduction of the use of materials that are considered as critical for the EU.
- Luleå University of Technology (LTU), Sweden (Lead Partner)
- Centro Ricerche Fiat S.C.p.A. (CRF – C.R.F.), Italy
- Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. (Fraunhofer), Germany
- Gemmate Technologies, Italy
- IMR Metal Powder Technologies GmbH, Austria
- LTU Business AB, Sweden
- Politecnico di Milano, Italy
- Siemens AG, Germany