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University of Sheffield Converts Coarse Powder into Sheet for Aerospace Applications


University of Sheffield’s STAR group has converted Al alloy powders from atomization to sheet material in two solid-state steps for use in aerospace. (Courtesy STAR Group)

The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, STAR (Sheffield Titanium Alloy Research) group and partner ECKART GmbH, Schluechtern, Germany, are convert oversize metal additive manufacturing (AM) aluminum alloy powders into sheet material for use in aerospace applications. The collaboration combines field assisted sintering technology (FAST) with hot rolling to convert coarse aluminum alloy powders from atomization into sheet material in two solid-state steps.

Metal AM processes are marketed as having reduced material waste compared to conventional metal processes, but the as-atomized particle size range is often overlooked as an issue. Oversize powder is generally remelted and atomized, increasing the cost for the raw powders. The project is a key factor in understanding the true economics of AM.

These findings were presented by Dr Simon Graham at World PM2022 in a keynote titled ‘Solid-State Processing of Surplus Aluminum Alloy Powders through a Combination of Field Assisted Sintering Technology and Hot Rolling’.

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