Alcoa spin-off Arconic will develop “smart ink” metal powders for 3D printing durable and high-quality aerospace parts.
With the company’s expansion in research and development announced in September 2015, Arconic will focus on developing materials that feature specific properties required for additive manufacturing high-performance components for the aerospace industry.
Arconic combines its expertise in metal alloy development with their know-how in manufacturing aerospace parts. Alcoa’s Ampliforge process is a hybrid technique that combines additive and traditional manufacturing. Using the Ampliforge process, the company can design and 3D print a near complete part, then treats it using a traditional manufacturing process, such as forging. The process enhances the properties of 3D printed parts, increasing toughness and strength versus parts made solely by additive manufacturing, and significantly reduces material input.
Alcoa has also recently announced that it is delivering 3D printed metal components to aircraft manufacturer Airbus.