Edag Develops Crash-Proof Aluminium Alloy for 3D Printing
Together with its partners, Edag has researched a new alloy for additive manufacturing which will enable components to be manufactured at significantly reduced weight without compromising crash safety.
As part of the CustoMat_3D research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Edag Group has developed a new aluminium alloy for 3D printing. Edag and eight other project partners optimised the alloy, developed for use in vehicles, to increase its strength and elongation at break. They took a comprehensive approach to their research, covering the whole process chain from powder production and simulation to component development.
The Leibniz Institute for Materials Engineering (IWT) and Kymera International were responsible for the alloy definition and manufacturing the powders, whilst the processing and process development in powder bed-based laser beam melting (LBM) was carried out at the Fraunhofer IAPT, GE Additive and FKM Sintertechnik GmbH. The Fraunhofer ITWM and Magma Giessereitechnologie GmbH researched the simulation of the melt’s fast cooling in the process. The new alloy was then tested at Mercedes-Benz and Edag Engineering.
The new CustAlloy material has a huge weight advantage
The versatile alloy can be flexibly adjusted using downstream heat treatment, enabling many different potential properties and applications. This means that a wheel carrier subject to high dynamic loads or a complex wheel housing component that must be extremely rigid can be made much lighter without compromising performance. During the additive manufacturing process, the components can also be adapted to meet the specific requirements of each vehicle via a loading stage model. The newly developed alloy is ready for series production and is due to become available in a few months under the brand name CustAlloy.