Global technology Group Oerlikon, with vast expertise in materials, has entered into an additive manufacturing (AM) research alliance with Linde, the world’s largest industrial gases company, and the Technical University of Munich (TUM), one of the leading German universities in engineering. The partners aim to develop new high-strength, lightweight aluminum-based alloys that can serve the safety and weight reduction needs of the aerospace and automotive industries. The Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs is funding 50% of the EUR 1.7 million research project.
The Oerlikon – Linde – TUM consortium is unique as each of the three members brings its own high-tech expertise to the table in this complex space. Producing the optimum aluminum alloy with a high content of lightweight elements like magnesium through an AM process requires a deep understanding of chemistry, thermo- and fluid dynamics. During the manufacturing process, the metal powder is applied one layer at a time on a build plate and melted using a laser beam. This fuses the metal powder together and forms the desired complex, three-dimensional geometries. The process takes place in a well-defined shielding gas atmosphere.
Oerlikon’s expertise in powder and material science will contribute to the development of the novel material. “Using our proprietary software, which enables big data simulation and analysis, Scoperta-RAD, Oerlikon provides critical solutions for the development of new materials and performance optimization of available materials,” says Dr. Alper Evirgen, Metallurgist at Oerlikon AM.
For more information, visit www.oerlikon.com.