Aluminum Association Grants First-Ever Registration to 3D Printed High-Strength Aluminium from HRL Laboratories

Additive Manufacturing
Above: Additively manufactured high-strength aluminium parts/Image Credit: HRL Laboratories

HRL Laboratories, LLC, the research-and-development laboratory owned by The Boeing Company and General Motors, has obtained the first ever registration of an additive alloy from the Aluminum Association. The Lab is now commercialising its additively manufactured high-strength aluminium which will be granted a specific registration number which is a world’s first.

The Aluminum Association oversees alloy registration and product standards used throughout the industry. It has granted registration number 7A77.50 for the aluminum powder used to additively manufacture the alloy and number 7A77.60L for the printed alloy.

The association’s new additive alloy registration system was launched in February 2019 in response to a growing number of additively manufactured alloys. The first to be registered was HRL Laboratories’ high-strength aluminum, the first alloy of its kind to be printable.

Speaking on the recent granting of the registration number, Hunter Martin, the lead scientist on the HRL team that created the alloy, said, “Essentially, this will connect us to this particular alloy composition forever. These alloy numbers will always be trackable back to HRL, like a DNA signature. When I first contacted the Aluminum Association about registering our alloy, they did not have a way to register alloys printed from powders, so they decided to create a new system for registration of additively manufactured materials – a first in the materials space.”

Another member from the HRL team, Zak Eckel, said, “We’re in the process of commercializing this material, which is already in high demand. As we scale up to commercial levels, AA registration validates our product. Companies who want the powder for their 3D printers can ask for its specific number, and it becomes a true commercial alloy.”

As the aluminium industry’s leading voice in the United States, the Aluminum Association provides global standards, statistics, and expert knowledge to manufacturers and policymakers. Alloy and temper designations, chemical composition limits, and registered properties in North America adhere to those standards. The association also provides business intelligence, sustainability research, and industry expertise and is committed to environmental considerations while advancing aluminium as the sustainable material of choice around the world.

About HRL Laboratories: HRL Laboratories, LLC, is a corporate research-and-development laboratory owned by The Boeing Company and General Motors specializing in research into sensors and materials, information and systems sciences, applied electromagnetics, and microelectronics.

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