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Alcoa Value-Added Business Opens 3D Printing Center – MetalMiner

by • July 17, 2016 • No Comments

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Alcoa, Inc., not long ago opened a state-of-the-art, 3D printing metal powder production facility in its Pittsburgh area Alcoa Technology Center.
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The lightweight metals center can create proprietary titanium, nickel and aluminum powders optimized for 3D printed aerospace parts. Alcoa has invested in a range of technologies to additional create additive making systemes, product create and qualification.
Alcoa Technology CenterAlcoa Technology Center
The Alcoa Technology Center near Pittsburgh has been expanded to accommodate new research into 3D printing innovation. Source: Alcoa
“Alcoa is forging a leadership path in additive making with a sharp focus on the significant input material—metal powders,” said Alcoa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Klaus Kleinfeld. “We are combining our expertise in metallurgy, making, create and product qualification to hustle beyond the possibilities of today’s 3D printing technologies for aerospace and other growth markets.”
Arconic Will Inherit 3D Printing Research
The facility can form part of the spin-off, value-added metals company Arconicfollowing separation of Alcoa’s traditional commodity business in the 2nd half of 2016. The plant is part of a $60 million investment in 3D printing materials and systemes which builds on the Alcoa’ 3D printing capabilities in California, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas.
In addition to making powders, Alcoa is focutilized on advancing a range of additive techniques, which include its not long ago revealed Ampliforge system, a hybrid technique which combines additive and traditional making. Employing the Ampliforge system, Alcoa creates and 3D prints a near consume part, and so treats it via traditional making systemes, such as forging. The system enhances the properties of 3D printed parts, increasing toughness and durablity versus parts created solely by additive making, and significantly reduces material input. Alcoa is piloting the technique in Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
Metal powders utilized for 3D printing durable, high-quality aerospace parts are on the market in limited quantities. Through this expansion, revealed in September 2015, Alcoa can create materials with the specific properties needed to 3D print high-performance components.
This is a considerable investment in bringing the “value-added” services which Kleinfeld previously promised Arconic may specialize in. Alcoa owns and operates one of the world’s biggest Hot Isostatic Pressing complexes in aerospace. HIP innovation strengand sos the metallic structures of traditional and additive manufactured parts created of titanium and nickel-based super-alloys. Through its acquisition ofRTI last year, Alcoa gained 3D printing capabilities in titanium and other specialty metals for the aerospace market and other growth industries.
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When the separation and spinoff of Arconic finally takes place, the new company can be positioned with both the research and production capabilities to provide aerospace parts to companies such as Airbus. Alcoa may already provides Airbus 3D-printed titanium fuselage and engine pylon parts for commercial aircraft and expects to donate the aircraft developer its initially additive manufactured (3D printed) parts under an existing agreement later this year.

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