Elementum 3D, Erie, Colorado, USA, reports that two of its high-performance aluminium materials, A6061-RAM2 and A2024-RAM2 both of which can be used in Additive Manufacturing, have been approved in the 2021 Formula 1 Technical Regulations.
Traditional high-strength aluminium alloys are known to suffer from hot tearing during solidification in fusion-based welding and AM processes, resulting in poor mechanical properties. However, the company stated that its alloys solve this issue by using its patented reactive Additive Manufacturing (RAM) technology to synthesise nano-scale inoculants during the AM process resulting in a fine equiaxed grain structure with excellent properties.
Both materials reportedly have proven performance and favourable production economics, with high print speeds and excellent surface finish.
According to Elementum 3D, the driving forces behind many of the F1 rule changes are competitive balance and economical sustainability. The financial squeeze will push F1 teams to rely more on efficient solutions such as Additive Manufacturing to control the ballooning costs of innovation.