The Technological Innovation Institute (TII), a world-leading research center and the applied research pillar of the Abu Dhabi Advanced Technology Council (ATRC), is making headlines with the latest addition to its innovative portfolio of additive manufacturing materials – AMALLOY-HT. The patented new aluminum alloy powder is the first metal additive manufacturing feedstock designed in the Middle East for use in powder bed-laser beam (PBF-LB) synthesis systems.
A revolutionary innovation from TII’s Advanced Materials Research Center (AMRC), AMALLOY-HT successfully solves long-standing problems faced by the metal additive manufacturing industry related to the use of the Powder Bed Fusion – Laser Beam (PBF-LB) technique. . The approach, which uses a high-energy source to melt the raw material and shape it as needed, has found application in a variety of industrial use cases. Challenges remain, however, given the aggressive nature of the laser-material interaction involved in the process, which causes cracks and other manufacturing defects in a range of materials, particularly high-strength ones.
Thanks to TII’s research and development, the palette of high-strength metals that can be 3D printed is now expanding. AMALLOY is the first low-cost, high-strength aluminum alloy entirely designed and manufactured by a team of researchers in the UAE. The AMALLOY family of materials boasts remarkable strength and an incredibly low susceptibility to hot cracking.
Shortly after the announcement of the launch of AMALLOY, the recently launched, high-temperature variant of the ‘AMALLOY-HT’ alloy demonstrated excellent thermal stability, especially in extremely high temperature environments (up to 300°C). It is worth noting that 300 degrees Celsius is the maximum working condition for any aluminum alloy, as aluminum degrades above this temperature.
The material’s flexibility and high temperature resistance will unlock exciting opportunities in countless sectors ranging from automotive, aviation, aerospace engineering and space exploration to oil and gas and energy. Among the use cases, AMALLOY-HT can be used to manufacture pistons in racing cars and satellites.
Speaking about this exciting development, Dr Nesma Aboulkhair, Director of Additive Manufacturing at TII, said: “While there have been several examples of new additive manufacturing materials coming out of laboratories in the US, Europe and Australia, this is the first time , when the UAE joined the elite list of countries with sovereign capabilities in this area. We are now cultivating the expertise to produce metal powders and design innovative materials, enabling us to manufacture existing alloys and create new ones for both local and global markets.”
The introduction of AMALLOY and its new high-temperature variant are set to increase international collaboration opportunities for researchers, manufacturers and industry leaders and enable them to exploit the full potential of these advanced materials in various fields. TII has already filed two patents in the US. Patent and Trademark Office for AMALLOY and AMALLOY-HT and plans to use its framework to develop alloys from other metal families.
Dr. Federico Bosio, Lead Researcher in Additive Manufacturing Materials at TII, said: “As part of TII’s ongoing commitment to innovation, AMALLOY-HT will continue to undergo refinement, fine-tuning and even more comprehensive testing. The goal is to commercialize a high-strength aluminum alloy specifically designed for high-temperature applications. While this material creates a host of new opportunities and solutions for industries worldwide, it will also enhance the reputation of Abu Dhabi and the UAE as a center for cutting-edge research and development.”
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