Aluminium Materials Technologies have taken the first steps towards investing in the future sustainability of their A20X™ high strength Al alloy. Having established a mutual interest in the subject with Prof. Martin Jackson at The University of Sheffield, a proof of concept study was initiated to evaluate the FAST technique to re-process their metal powder. FAST, Field Assisted Sintering Technology, has the ability to take powdered materials and transform them into solid objects. This then provides a potential use for the grade of metal powder, that up until now has always been considered the waste material output from the atomisation process.

The work carried out to date has found at this very early stage that the out-sized powder can be sintered into a solid compact; as shown in the image of the machined pucks provided by Simon Graham (Eng.D student at the University of Sheffield). Investigations have been carried out involving the heat treatment of the sintered materials, and their resultant mechanical properties. Whilst no conclusions can be stated at this point, there are very good indications that the resulting metal will be able to at least match that of the conventionally produced alloy. Further investigation will require a more in depth project that both parties will now seek to take forward together.

If you are interested in this project, or would like to know more about the possibility of using any of the A20X alloys, contact us here.

Or to learn more about the work at the University of Sheffield visit their website here.

A20X™ is a versatile Al-Cu alloy powder and is supplied for all laser powder bed fusion machines. Our Al alloy powder can be used without any special process requirements like pre-heating the build platform. The alloy has been shown to be capable of extraordinary results, even without the need for hot isostatic pressing. Room temperature properties up to 511MPa UTS and over 10% elongation, are combined with high temperature stability well above 150°C and beyond. Heat treatment cycles can be tailored to obtain different materials properties dependent on the application requirements.

A20X sintered powder by FAST at University of Sheffield