Abstract: Metal matrix composites (MMCs) can provide an attractive combination of properties by combining differential ceramic concentrations in a metal matrix. Additive manufacturing has proven beneficial for many applications by enabling increased design freedom and accelerating design and fabrication times. Elementum 3D has utilized innovative reactive additive manufacturing (RAM) technology to introduce new high-performance aluminum matrix composite materials for use with existing additive manufacturing equipment. Modification by the RAM process has enabled additive fabrication of aluminum alloys including 2024, 6061, and 7075 that were previously considered unsuitable for AM. Aluminum 2024 MMCs demonstrated approximately 2.3x the yield strength, 1.7x the ultimate tensile strength, 1.4x the elastic modulus, and 3.8x the wear resistance of AlSi10Mg. The Al-RAM MMC materials also demonstrated good retention of properties at elevated temperatures with less than 7% reduction of yield strength at 150°C. Lightweight high-performance AM materials are of high interest to space, aerospace, and automotive industries.
Authors:Adam J. Polizzi and Jeremy J. Iten
Keywords: Additive Manufacturing, 3D Printing, Metal Matrix Composites, MMC, Aluminum, Reactive, RAM, Performance, Lightweight