Rusal America releases ALLOW sustainable aluminum AM powders
The company just installed a $3.5 million aluminum AM powder production line
Rusal America, the US-branch of one of the world’s largest aluminum manufacturers, is expanding its aluminum product offerings to include ALLOW sustainable aluminum AM powders. The new powders portfolio is comprised of four traditional Al-Si-based casting alloys and five specialty alloys designed for use in the aerospace and automotive industries, and more broadly in the general industry.
As metal AM increasingly moves towards industrialization for mass production, aluminum is seen as one of the key materials for its low price and lightweight properties. To best address this expected demand, Rusal America’s expanded portfolio makes high-performance solutions available to more AM applications than ever before through holistic alloy design that optimizes composition to maximize properties and printability while minimizing material cost.
“From primary aluminum and foundry alloys to billets and wire rod, Rusal America is a trusted supplier with a reputation for delivering unmatched high-quality, low-carbon aluminum products backed by customer and technical support that is second to none,” said C. Brian Hesse, President and CEO of Rusal America. “We are excited to deliver the same to customers new and existing through our new line of innovative AM powder alloys.”
The materials in the portfolio are 100% pre-alloyed and fully metallic powders, excluding any ceramic- or nano-inclusions. The powders are atomized exclusively from ALLOW feedstock, Rusal’s leading low-carbon-footprint aluminum brand. ALLOW’s carbon footprint is 75% less than the global industry average (smelter scope 1 & 2 emissions). All powders come with a 3rd-party certified carbon certificate to promote transparency and accountability.
The RS-230 material is a novel hot-crack-resistant Al-Cu alloy with high-strength stability up to 250°C.
RS-553 is a novel aerospace Al-Mg-Sc alloy with optimized scandium content that delivers comparable properties at a significantly lower cost than similar Al-Sc AM alloys.
Rusal is uniquely positioned to provide unrivaled aluminum products to the AM industry through institutional aluminum alloy development expertise at the Rusal Light Materials and Technology Institute (LMTI) and world-class inert gas powder atomization facilities.
Just last week Rusal finished a closed additive manufacturing cycle at its Institute of Light Materials and Technologies (ILM&T). The project at the Additive Technology Centre represented an investment of €3.5 million in resources and facility development at the Centre to date.
The firm constructed an additive powder manufacturing site at the plant, also adding an atomizer and a powder sizing and packaging line. Now able to conduct the complete production cycle, Rusal plans to develop powders of new aluminum alloys with improved strength and heat resistance.
Rusal’s Chief Technical Officer Victor Mann referred to this as a very significant milestone: “In just three years at the ILM&T, we have managed to not only form a team of highly-skilled industry-leading professionals but also to provide all the necessary resources and facilities to enable the rendering of a full range of services from research to engineering. The Institute’s specialists have successfully developed and enhanced the production of innovative solutions in the field of high strength aluminum powders for additive technologies, intended for shipbuilding and the space industry, as well as aluminum alloys with increased corrosion resistance for railway, transport and construction. Now one of ILM&T’s biggest tasks moving forward is to achieve a significant reduction in production costs by recycling and optimizing the printing process parameters. This work will make it possible to accelerate the implementation of new developments and to expand their application to more industries in the future.”
Rusal says the Centre is studying aluminum alloy powders that resist heat up to 400°С (752°F). In 2019, two years after the founding of the ILM&T, the plant debuted a new aluminum alloy powder that surpassed the then-current selection of aluminum alloy powders.