Thermally Stable Aluminum-Cerium Alloys for 3D Printing

Thermally Stable Aluminum-Cerium Alloys for 3D Printing Thermally Stable Aluminum-Cerium Alloys for 3D Printing  (hi-res image)
ORNL has recently developed novel cerium-containing aluminum alloys that offer weight, strength and temperature performance characteristics with the potential to compete with titanium-based alloys at a fraction of the cost.  The high strength / high temperature characteristics of the alloys are due to the formation of ultra-fine nanostructures in the material when the alloy melt is rapidly cooled.  Because additively manufactured (i.e. 3D printed) components are created by locally melting and rapidly cooling layers of material, the performance of these alloys is optimized in additive manufacturing processes. Furthermore, because the cooling rate of the alloy can be controlled during the additive manufacturing process, the strength / temperature characteristics of the material can be optimized locally within components as they are fabricated.

This project was accepted into TIP with the goal of enabling the adoption low-cost, lightweight additively manufactured components in the automotive and aerospace industries where high strength at high temperatures is required.  The increased strength of the alloy may allow the material to replace steel in some applications, and the combination of strength and thermal stability may allow the material to replace titanium in other applications.

Near term opportunities for the alloy include automotive heat exchangers and turbo charger impellers where the added design flexibility of additive manufacturing (e.g. complex internal cooling features impossible to manufacturing by traditional methods) may provide performance characteristics unavailable with traditional manufacturing processes.

For more information, or to obtain an application to license this technology, please contact Nestor Franco at 865-574-0534 or francone@ornl.gov.  Additional information can be found on our FedBizOpps listing.

 

Intellectual Property

High Temperature Al Alloys for Additive Manufacturing

– Provisional US Patent Application 62/396,490

Invention Disclosure No. 201603698

Technology Summaries

Fact Sheet

Publications

R.R. Dehoff, M.M. Kirka, W.J. Sames, H. Bilheux, A.S. Tremsin, L.E. Lowe, S.S. Babu, “Site specific control of crystallographic grain orientation through electron beam additive manufacturing”.  Materials Science and Technology.

R.R. Dehoff, M.M. Kirka, F.A. List, K.A. Unocic, W.J. Sames. “Crystallographic texture engineering through novel melt strategies via electron beam melting.”  Materials Science and Technology.”