CarbonNanoMCW - High Strength Aluminium Metal Cored Wire for Beam based Additive Layer Manufacturing

Project: Research project


The aim of the project is to develop a new metal cored wire (MCW) with carbon nanostructures (CNS - a mixture of carbon nanofibers and nanotubes) reinforced aluminium powder for wire feed additive layer manufacturing (ALM) processes - laser and electron beam. The CNS will be directly synthesized on the surface of the aluminium powder from the gas phase by the Russian partner. Different CNS reinforced Al powders with varying concentration, size and form of CNS will be developed and characterized. Such type of "breeding" allows a homogeneous distribution of the CNS on the powder and avoids the separate handling of CNS in the manufacturing process. It offers significant advantages in comparison with separate management of powder and nanoparticles, under environmental, occupational health and safety aspects, too. After identifying of suitable powder composition, metal cored wire will be produced by the German partner Dep. Joining and Welding Technology (BTU-LFT). Wire-based ALM processes with laser and electron beam will be carried out by BTU-LFT and by the Austrian Partner Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) respectively. Material and sample characterization is provided by each partner. The metal-coated and multistage-formed powder core of the MCW has moderate requirements on shape and size of the powder particles. Together with the coat material, this MCW offers a flexible alloying system for ALM technology. Based on these systematic investigations including characterization, the appropriate alloying systems for each ALM process will be selected and implemented in demonstrators. The main goal is to increase the strength 3 times compared to AlSi-based materials. The new materials will be validated and demonstrated for two beam ALM, but it should be able to be processed also witch another conventional machines for ALM, for exemple arc based, in order to ensure a barrier-free transfer for the wide industrial application.
Impact and benefits of the project:
- Expansion of the material palette for additive manufacturing of Al components, which are pre-dominantly limited to AlSi-based powders
- Higher flexibility of usable Al alloy systems through variation of coat and core materials
- Significant increase of the strength of generatively manufactured components of Al to 750 MPa, which promotes in many cases a substitution of currently in market expensive Ti materials
- Higher lightweight potential due to higher strength
- Cost reduction due to loss of heat treatments, necessary for precipitation hardening Al alloys e.g. Sc-based alloys (Scalmalloy® [1])
- Reduction of the thermal conductivity to about 25% of the one of Al, resulting in a more energy efficient ALM process
- Direct synthesis of the CNS on the surface of Al-powder saves energy intensive and costly production steps like grinding for mechanical alloying with separate nanoparticles
- Environmental and health-friendly processing, since no separate handling of powder and nanoparticles in processes
Effective start/end date1/07/1830/06/20