NUST MISIS scientists have found a way to strengthen aluminum 3D printing which could benefit the aerospace industry.
“We have developed a technology to strengthen the aluminum-matrix composites obtained by 3D printing, and we have obtained innovative precursor-modifiers by burning aluminum powders,” explains Professor Alexander Gromov.
“Combustion products – nitrides and aluminum oxides – are specifically prepared for sintering branched surfaces with transition nanolayers formed between the particles.”
According to Gromov, it is the special properties and structure of the surface that allows the particles to be firmly attached to the aluminum matrix and, as a result, doubles the strength of the obtained composites.
The developed modifying-precursors, based on nitrides and aluminum oxides and obtained through combustion, have become the basis of the new composite.
It must be noted that titanium’s strength is about six times higher than that of aluminum, however the density of titanium is 1.7 times higher than that of aluminum.
Moreover, titanium cannot be used in 3D printing because of the fire and explosion hazards of powders.
Aluminum is a better alternative since it is lightweight (density 2700 kg/m3) and moldable, apart from possessing an elasticity modulus of ~70 MPa.
Image and content: Sergey Gnuskov/NUST MISIS