Aeromet receives crucial funding to advance new A20X aerospace-grade additive material

Aeromet International Ltd, is a UK-based manufacturer of aluminum and cast metal parts for aerospace and defense industries. In August 2017 the company announced that it was working with UK-based engineering firm Renishaw, to establish 3D printing processes for Aeromet’s A20X aluminum alloy.

The UK’s National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) has just awarded funding to Aeromet and its partners, which now include Rolls-Royce, Renishaw and Phoenix Scientific Industries Ltd (PSI), for the further development of A20X in 3D printing. PSI is a UK-based company known for its use of gas atomization in the production of metal powders.

NATEP is an initiative supporting UK companies that are developing new technologies for the aerospace supply chain.

Aeromet's A20X aluminum alloy. Photo via Aeromet International Ltd.
Aeromet’s A20X aluminum alloy. Photo via Aeromet International Ltd.

A high strength, high temperature alloy for metal 3D printing

A20X is an aluminum-copper alloy with a “highly-refined microstructure and a unique solidification mechanism, giving it greater strength, fatigue and thermal characteristics compared to other alloys.” Aeromet says castings made from A20X are already in production for high-strength, high-temperature aerospace applications.

The company says that A20X is the world’s strongest aluminium casting alloy with full Metallic Materials Properties Development and Standardization (MMPDS) and Aerospace Material Standards (AMS) approval.

Aeromet currently provides OEMs such as Airbus, Boeing and Rolls-Royce with metal components for uses ranging from engines to airplane winglets.

Part of a winglet manufactured by Aeromet. Photo via Aeromet International Ltd.
Part of a winglet manufactured by Aeromet. Photo via Aeromet International Ltd.

Collaborating for A20X 3D printing

According to Dr. Martin McMahon, Renishaw’s Business Development Manager of Global Solutions Centres, “Renishaw is very pleased to be a part of this project.”

“Renishaw’s state of the art metal AM systems feature high power multiple lasers, a class leading inert processing environment, and a unique open parameter development platform, making them ideal for investigating innovative new materials like A20X.”

Paul Murray, Rolls-Royce’s Principal Materials Engineer adds, “Rolls-Royce are excited to participate in this project and contribute to the development of this very promising new aluminium alloy,”

“NATEP is a proven programme with a strong track record of supporting innovation in the UK aerospace supply chain.” 

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Featured image shows Aeromet’s A20X aluminum alloy. Photo via Aeromet International Ltd.