Researchers demonstrate new aluminium alloy production technique

Researchers at the USA’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have demonstrated a new single-step production technique that can produce wire, rod and tube parts directly from aluminium powder, and which they say could be useful in the automotive industry.

The research has been published in the journal Materialia in an article, ““High Ductility Aluminum Alloy Made from Powder by Friction Extrusion“, describing the solid-state process.
PNNL calls its process Shear Assisted Processing and Extrusion, and cuts out the steps of canning, degassing, hot isostatic pressing, de-canning and preheating required by extrusion. Powdered aluminium alloys have been limited to use in specialised aerospace components due to their cost.
“The elimination of both the processing steps and the need for pre-heating could dramatically reduce production time as well as lower the cost and overall embedded energy within the product, which could be beneficial for automotive manufacturers who want to make passenger vehicles more affordable, lighter, and fuel-efficient for the consumer,” said lead researcher Scott Whalen, a materials scientist, in a statement.
Picture: PNNL

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