Digital strategy for the development of new, hot cracking resistant Al-powder alloys for SLM

Project runtime: 01.02.2021 – 31.01.2024







New materials for new processes

Metal 3D printing has great potential for resource-saving production. Today, metal 3D printing can already be used to produce machine parts directly from computer data without expensive tools such as forging or casting moulds. Moved by these possibilities of metal 3D printing, US President Barack Obama predicted as early as 2013 that metal 3D printing would be of great importance for the economy. The German economy can also take advantage of the potential of metal 3D printing for resource-saving and economical production.

The small variety of materials has so far been an obstacle to fully exploiting this potential. This is due to the fact that printing with many materials causes cracks in the machine parts. The aim of the "DiStAl" project is to use digitisation to research special crack-resistant aluminium powder alloys for metal 3D printing. These are particularly interesting for lightweight construction applications.

To achieve this, the IMWF and MPA institutes at the University of Stuttgart are researching a special computer model of the material and the metal 3D printing process (in this project the SLM process, Selective Laser Melting). The computer model takes into account physical effects that act in the nanometre (scale of the interacting atoms) to millimetre range (size of a pin) and influence the result of metal 3D printing. As a basis, data is collected experimentally and transferred into a model that is finally verified. If the project is successful, the basic idea will lead to a digital tool that can be transferred to other materials and thus expand the possible applications of metal 3D printing.

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© Universität Stuttgart
3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.“ Barack Obama, State of the Union Address 2013