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A new technology 3D printing aluminum will turn an engineering

Новая технология 3D-печати алюминием перевернет машиностроение

The new technology of 3D printing will lay the Foundation to create a lighter, faster aircraft that potentially will be able to fly farther with less fuel.

Modern aircraft are assembled using thousands of metal rivets, and fasteners. Their design is very complex because the light and durable aluminum alloys hard to find a replacement. If you try to weld such elements, it inevitably occurs a phenomenon called hot cracking, in which the finished alloy is weakened and broken as it cools.

Such adverse effects welding has long stood in the way of 3D printing high-strength parts based on aluminium. Every time researchers have tried to use this technology, the resulting laser-melted mass was flaking off at the seam, like a stale biscuit.

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However, scientists from HRL laboratories in Malibu (California) managed to overcome this long-standing problem – they developed a new way of 3D printing the two most used types of high-strength aluminum alloys, which are used not only in aviation, but also in the production of cars and trucks. The advantage of the open method is the possibility of the application of the processes of 3D printing is similar to creating high-strength steels and superalloys based on Nickel.

The unique approach of American researchers is to coating metal elements with specially selected nanoparticles, which create a kind of frame of a given microstructure as solidification of the molten alloy with a laser. Cools, the metal becomes crystalline schema defined by these nanoparticles, which prevents hot cracking. Thus, the resulting item retains its physical strength.

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To find elements with the desired properties, in this case nanoparticles based on Zirconia, the HRL team resorted to a computing platform Citrine Informatics, which has screened in hundreds of thousands of materials available, and are allocated only a few contenders. To choose the “right” of them by brute force would be difficult.

Thanks to this innovative technology HRL advanced additive manufacture of metal parts to a new level, which will allow you to create new applications for the entire transport sector, including aviation, automobile industry, metallurgy and robotics. The results of the work of scientists published in the journal Nature.

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