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UAE’s first locally developed 3D printing alloy unveiled at AM Conclave

The new AMALLOY aluminum alloy powder was developed by the Technology Innovation Institute (TII)

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AMALLOY, a proprietary new aluminum alloy powder, developed by the Technology Innovation Institute (TII),  specifically for additive manufacturing was recently unveiled at the AM Conclave conference in Abu Dhabi.

AMALLOY is the first metal additive manufacturing feedstock designed in the Middle East for use on laser beam powder bed fusion (PDF-LB) systems. The low-cost, high-strength aluminum alloy demonstrates excellent printability and performance.

When compared to commercially available AlSi10Mg alloys, AMALLOY registers 33% greater strength without compromising on ductility. This makes the new material an excellent candidate for parts where light-weight and high strength are must-haves to address demanding applications.

AMALLOY, the UAE’s first locally developed 3D printing aluminum alloy was unveiled at AM Conclave, developed by the TII
Vickers hardness values of AMALLOYs compared to commercial aluminum alloy, including high-strength aluminum alloys. Source: TII

Due to the nature of its chemical formulation and intrinsic metallurgical compounds, AMALLOY features an incredibly low hot crack susceptibility coefficient, meaning higher strengths can be achieved without hot cracking issues.

Higher strengths are made possible by a robust co-eutectic microstructure combined with a high level of saturation, precipitation hardening, and grain refining. In collaboration with Oxford University, Atom Probe Tomography (APT) analyses revealed the presence of nano-precipitates in the primary aluminum microstructure that further enhanced the alloy’s strength.

In addition to the excellent mechanical properties, the alloy has been tested up to temperatures of 300ºC – revealing excellent thermal stability and making this grade potentially usable in high-temperature environments.

“Our focus is on developing high-strength alloys with excellent printability. We intend to use these new materials in manufacturing defect-free parts to be employed in critical and high-value applications,” said Dr. Nesma Aboulkhair, Director of Additive Manufacturing at TII. “We are adopting a framework for an integrated computational and experimental approach to design and produce these new materials for use in metal AM. This framework constitutes six phases including alloy design, experimental validation, AM for in situ-alloying with accelerated process optimization, material testing, metal powder optimization, and finally, documentation.”

The framework is conducted entirely in-house from start to finish and has already proven so successful in developing AMALLOY that TII has filed for a patent for the alloy with the US Patent Office.

AMALLOY, the UAE’s first locally developed 3D printing aluminum alloy was unveiled at AM Conclave, developed by the TII

TII intends to use the framework to develop new alloys from other families of metals and also expects to use the versatile framework to develop new alloys for traditional manufacturing processes.

“The target clientele for the new material we are developing for metal 3D printing are worldwide metal powder producers and we are exploring licensing our new patented alloy compositions to global manufacturers,” said Dr. Federico Bosio, Lead Researcher for Additive Manufacturing Materials at TII. “Some of the use cases that the specific AMALLOY is suitable for include low buy-to-fly parts for aerospace/aviation [i.e., antennas, aircraft brackets, nanosatellites] and high strength components such as topology optimized engine brackets.”

In its as-printed state, AMALLOY boasts a range of impressive material properties. These attributes include a remarkable relative density of 99.9% or higher, ensuring its structural integrity and strength. Additionally, it exhibits a minimal hot crack susceptibility (HCS) coefficient, measuring below 0.3 as per the Clyne and Davis model, which enhances its resilience during fabrication processes. When it comes to hardness, AMALLOY falls within the Vickers hardness range of 140 HV to 200 HV, determined by its unique chemical formulation. This alloy also demonstrates considerable mechanical prowess with a yield strength spanning from 200 to 350, determined by its chemical composition, as well as an ultimate tensile strength ranging from 350 MPa to 500 MPa, further solidifying its suitability for various applications.

AMALLOY will be further enhanced using TII’s development framework, to produce a high-strength aluminum alloy specifically for high-temperature applications. Once complete, the material will open up a raft of new applications across sectors such as aerospace, space, oil and gas, and nuclear.

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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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