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AddUp adds Constellium’s Aheadd CP1 aluminum alloy to material portfolio

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The Aheadd CP1 aluminum alloy from French metal AM material supplier Constellium can now be used on AddUp FormUp 350 machines. This aluminum alloy is specially developed for the needs of additive manufacturing and it is an interesting alternative to traditional grades such as AS7 or AS10, with higher productivity and better performance for heat dissipation applications.

AddUp qualified a new aluminum alloy Aheadd CP for FormUp 350 machines. This alloy was developed by Constellium and was designed for the needs of additive manufacturing by laser powder-bed fusion (L- PBF) specifically for high-performance and lightweight applications.

The current AM market is dominated by AS7 and AS10 grades (alloys of aluminum, silicon and magnesium, originally created for the foundry industry). Constellium offers an aluminum-iron-zirconium alloy with higher solderability which makes it possible to increase laser power and scan speed and therefore to improve productivity. The gains can range depending on the type of part to be printed, and more could be achieved in the next years.

AddUp adds Constellium Aheadd CP1 aluminum alloy to material portfolio providing an alternative to traditional grades such as AS7 or AS10

Above all, with Constellium alloy, post-build operations are simplified. “To obtain the best mechanical properties using AS7 and AS10 grades, several long and expensive post-build treatments must be carried out, such as hot isostatic pressing and, solution and aging Etc,” explained Frédéric Sar, Materials Officer at AddUp. “With Aheadd CP1, very similar material properties can be achieved with a simple heat treatment at 400°C.” Saving time and money on these post-printing operations, which represent up to 40 to 50% of the cost of L-PBF parts, can make a difference in the profitability of an application.

In detail, the mechanical properties of parts made by AddUp from Aheadd CP1 (particle size 20-63 μm) are close to those of AS7 in terms of hardness, at least equivalent in fatigue resistance and higher in ductility. These parts are also compatible with anodizing treatments to improve corrosion resistance.

Higher thermal conductivity of Aheadd CP1 compared to traditional aluminum alloys makes Constellium’s alloy a better candidate for all heat exchanger applications. This alloy is stable up to 250°C without degrading its microstructure. Therefore the parts made out of this material can be used at higher temperatures compared to AS7, which paves the way for lightweight applications for the aerospace industry.

All these characteristics make Aheadd CP1 a potential alternative to AS7 and AS10 alloys for 3D printing. This material was recently approved in the field of motorsports. Combining this material with the performance of the AddUp FormUp 350 machine increases productivity without compromising the part quality. This material could quickly gain significant interest in many other industrial sectors, including aeronautics and aerospace.

 

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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