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HRL Laboratories’ 7A77 aluminum authorized for use in Formula One

Following the recent news of Constellium's Aheadd CP1 aluminum authorization

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HRL Laboratories, a research center in Malibu, California, currently owned by General Motors Corporation and Boeing, has announced that its 7A77 aluminum alloy and feedstock powder, designed specifically for additive manufacturing, has been officially authorized for the use in the production of parts for Formula One racing cars.

This news follows the recent authorization of Constellium’s Aheadd CP1 high-performance aluminum additive manufacturing powder – which was qualified by Velo3D and PWR for the Sapphire series of 3D printers – for use in the production of Formula One racing cars.

HRL Laboratories' 7A77 aluminum authorized for use in Formula One racing cars. Following Constellium's recent news. “Our printable aluminum powder has been added to the list of acceptable materials for any component on a Formula One car,” said Darby LaPlant, a materials scientist at HRL. “This step is further validation of our 3D printed high-strength alloy. We’re excited to be working with Formula One to bring 7A77 to an incredibly demanding application.”

Formula One is the highest class of international auto racing for open-wheel, single-seat race cars, and is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the body that decides on approved materials. According to HRL, the ‘formula’ in the name does not refer to a mixture of substances, but rather to the set of rules that dictate the parameters to which all F1 cars must conform. It is this rigorous list to which HRL 7A77 has been added.

“Formula One racing is known for always pushing the limits of what is possible and additive manufacturing gives them a mechanism to do that by designing fully optimized structures. Now they can use our 7A77 alloy with a yield strength of 530 MPa, the highest strength of any additive aluminum alloy,” said Toby Schaedler, Department Manager at HRL.

HRL Laboratories’ new class of 3D printable high-strength aluminum alloys was based on historically high-strength and low-cost wrought alloy systems such as Al-7075. HRL is also currently working on designing additional alloys for 3D printing.

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