High-strength aluminium powder for high-tech components.
Precision parts manufacturer Toolcraft has been working with Airbus Group subsidiary, Airbus APWorks, on a new high-strength aluminium alloy for its metal laser melting process.
Scalmalloy is a corrosion-resistant material with the specific strength of titanium at a simultaneously high ductility. At more than twice as strong as current aluminium-silicon powder, Scalmalloy is ideal for high-performance applications in the aerospace and aviation industries, for automotive applications and for special machinery manufacturing.
Metal laser melting is enjoying increasing popularity and Toolcraft already employs nickel and titanium alloys, stainless and tool steels, and aluminium-silicon alloy in its production processes. The method has made the successful leap from rapid prototyping to an approved manufacturing technology. In principle, any material that is weldable can be processed.
Pump housing automotive part.
The advantages of laser melting are already being sung throughout many sectors of the manufacturing industry due to its ability to produce complex geometries and difficult to machine materials. The technology also enables the production of components in the shortest possible time with particularly low material waste which can result in huge savings for the manufacturer.
The cooperation with Airbus APWorks adds significant value to Toolcraft’s process chain and will allow clients to benefit from topology optimisation of the design data. An evaluation of the components takes place in advance to ensure the best results before the part goes into production allowing any redisigns to take place to achieve optimum output.
Toolcraft Managing Director Christoph Hauck, commented; "The Airbus Group has produced a type of powder that not only exhibits the positive properties of aluminium, but also very high strength with good elongation at break. Scalmalloy®, as it is named, is therefore unique in the market".