Russian National University of Science and Technology doubles the strength of 3D printed aluminum

March 06, 2021

3D printed titanium components are favored in the aerospace, medical and automotive industries due to their high strength-to-weight ratio. However, the new metal powder group from the Russian State University of Science and Technology (NUST) MISiS hopes to use aluminum components to achieve the same performance.

On October 10, 2018, Antarctic Bear learned from foreign media that NUSTMISiS researcher zui recently published a study in "Sustainable Materials and Technologies" detailing the production of ultra-high purity alumina (UHPA), a technology that enables 3D printed aluminum composite The intensity has doubled.

The NUSTMISiS team uses aluminum particles with a purity of 99.7%. Through oxidation, alkali and acid treatment and thermal calcination at 1450 ° C, the particles are turned into aluminum hydroxide.

At each stage of the process, the researchers read oxide impurities, especially iron and potassium impurities, which proved to be problematic. Based on these data, the team subsequently modified the chemical treatment, washing and calcination to obtain UHPA with a purity of 99.99% and 99.999%.

Although the optimal processing conditions for the powder still need to be determined, the NUSTMISiS team has used the material to develop a 3D printed prototype using selective laser melting.

"We have developed a technology to strengthen aluminum-based composites obtained by 3D printing, and we have obtained innovative precursor modifiers by burning aluminum powder," explained Professor Alexander Gromov, a research team led by the NUSTMISiS Nonferrous Metals Division.

"This is the special nature and structure of the surface, allowing the particles to be completely attached to the aluminum matrix, and as a result, the strength of the composite material obtained."

Titanium is about 6 times stronger than aluminum, so this process increases the strength of the composite by a third.

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