AP&C to offer aluminum alloy F357 powder from April 2019 to meet increased demand from aerospace and automotive sectors
AP&C—a GE Additive company— will begin production of aluminum alloy F357 powder in Q1 2019 with customer deliveries expected from April 2019. Aluminum F357 alloy is increasingly in demand from customers particularly from the aerospace and automotive sectors. It is known to have good weldability with high strength and toughness offering a good corrosion resistance and heat conductivity.
AP&C is a leader in the production of titanium and nickel alloy powders for additive manufacturing. Its process produces highly spherical metal powder designed for excellent flowability and low porosity.
Aluminum alloy F357 powder will be produced using AP&C’s proprietary Advanced Plasma Atomization (APA) at its recently expanded facility in Saint-Eustache, Canada. This new, automated plant offers a full production capacity of 1,000 tons.
Plasma atomization is a relatively new process that has gained powder market share rapidly because of its ability to produce highly spherically shaped particles in accurate size distributions with low oxygen content and low internal porosity. In this process, wire is fed into a plasma torch which converts the wire into droplets that subsequently solidify to powder form.
Aluminum shares similar characteristics with titanium, and aluminum alloy F357 powder has the same quality signature as APA titanium powders—good processability, high flowability, high packing, low porosity and high purity—which are all required by the additive manufacturing industry to enhance performance and reliability of the aluminum printing process.
This new powder maps well with AP&C’s existing product range and experience working with reactive and low density metals.
Our customers have been asking us to provide aluminum solutions to address the challenges they currently experience. We are confident we’ve developed a solution that solves these challenges.
The modular cell-based structure of our new plant in Saint-Eustache allows us to respond quickly to the additive industry’s demands as it rapidly evolves.—Alain Dupont, President & CEO, AP&C