Materion Corporation, a global leader in advanced materials solutions, has been awarded a $5 million contract by the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (US-AFRL) to expand its ongoing research and development in3D printing, for beryllium and aluminum beryllium alloys.
Beryllium, a specialized material, offers significant advantages in the production and performance of optical structures, guidance systems and thermal management applications used in defense and aerospace markets. Additive manufacturing could produce components with higher precision and efficiency that would not be feasible using conventional processes. In particular, combining beryllium with the manufacturing advantages of 3D printing could lead to optimized designs and increased capabilities of optical systems and space communications and mobility technologies.
“Our additive manufacturing laboratory has demonstrated the viability of beryllium additive manufacturing, and we look forward to working with the US-AFRL to advance into a new phase of our research and development efforts,” said Clive Grannum, President, Materion Performance Materials. “With our long history innovating beryllium solutions, we have the expertise to operationalize these specialized manufacturing techniques for existing and new customers who need more complex components for their next-generation applications.”
The two-year contract with the U.S. AFRL will support labor, material and operating costs to develop processes for various deposition technologies in a safe and expandable environment. This includes pre- and post-processing technologies for powder and material inputs, as well as structures and components. It remains to be seen what groundbreaking advances this collaboration will bring to the world of 3D printing.