The aluminum welding problem solved by nanoparticles 3D printing
Every year more and more researchers are studying 3D printing technologies, achieving amazing results, for example, printing wood, ceramics and concrete products. What’s amazing is that now even food can be printed.
However, from the economic side of the issue, not all technologies are as profitable as the latest HRL laboratory development. Scientists have created a technology for printing aluminum alloys that previously couldn’t go through this procedure.
At the heart of this technology is the nano-functionalization process. Its essence is in adding special zirconium nanoparticles. The mixture is put into a 3D printer that welds the material with selective laser melting.
The main difference from conventional 3D printers is that during melting and congelation these nanoparticles act as a nucleation catalyst, which forms the necessary alloy structure. Nucleation prevents hot cracking, which is usually the case with metal printing. That’s why these alloys can be used in cars and aircraft production.
This technology makes high strength alloys Al7075 and Al6061 processing possible, which completely transforms manufacturing processes in the aerospace and auto industries.