Formula 1 approves Aheadd CP1 aluminium for additively manufactured heat exchangers

May 3, 2023

PWR Advanced Cooling Technology will use Constellium’s Aheadd CP1 aluminium powder to additively manufacture heat exchangers for F1 using Velo3D’s Sapphire AM machines (Courtesy PWR Advanced Cooling Technology)
PWR Advanced Cooling Technology will use Constellium’s Aheadd CP1 aluminium powder to additively manufacture heat exchangers for F1 using Velo3D’s Sapphire AM machines (Courtesy PWR Advanced Cooling Technology)

Constellium SE, headquartered in Paris, France, has announced that its Aheadd® CP1 aluminium powder has been approved for use in Formula 1 race cars. Constellium has partnered with Velo3D, Campbell, California, USA, and PWR Advanced Cooling Technology, Ormeau, Australia, to start providing highly efficient, compact, and lightweight additively manufactured heat exchangers for use in F1 cars, beginning in the 2024 season.

Aheadd CP1 is an aluminium, zirconium, iron alloy that is specially designed for Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) Additive Manufacturing machines. It is thermally stable up to 300°C and reputedly provides excellent corrosion resistance, is highly isotropic, and built parts have excellent surface finish and stable microstructures.

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Velo3D qualified Aheadd® CP1 for use in its Sapphire Additive Manufacturing machines and PWR will use the alloy to manufacture heat exchangers along with a variety of other high-performance components for the company’s customers.

“We are proud to have our high-performance Additive Manufacturing aluminium powder approved for use on Formula 1 race cars,” stated Alireza Arbab, Head of the Additive Manufacturing team at Constellium C-TEC. “Our customers can now develop a wide range of high-performance components, ranging from highly complex heat exchangers to structural parts. The benefits include previously impossible designs, cost-efficient parts, reduced machine utilisation time and better ROI.”

For more than two decades, PWR has been providing high-performance aluminium radiators, intercoolers, oil coolers, and other finished parts to customers in F1, NASCAR, V8 Supercars, Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, and other motorsport categories. It also services customers in the energy, defence, and aerospace industries. PWR is certified to AS9100D and ISO 14001, is ITAR compliant, and has secured Nadcap accreditations for its chemical processing and heat-treating services.

“Aheadd CP1 is a fantastic addition to our Additive Manufacturing services and Velo3D’s unparalleled print capabilities coupled with PWR’s brazed fin technology creates a unique performance differentiator for our customers,” added Mark Booker, PWR Technical Project Manager. “Our goal is to give our racing customers an unfair advantage on the track and we look forward to seeing these teams win using new parts manufactured by PWR.”

In addition to the standard 50 μm layer thickness that all of Velo3D’s AM machines use, Aheadd CP1 is also being qualified to additively manufacture parts in 100 μm layers in an effort to provide customers with a balance between finished part performance and system throughput.

“Our team is committed to listening to customers and enhancing our technology to meet their needs, so when PWR came to us with a challenge of qualifying a new alloy with a first-of-its-kind parameter set, we were thrilled to partner with them on the project,” stated Dr Zachary Detweiler, Velo3D VP of Technology. “Aheadd CP1 is the first alloy qualified in our Augsburg, Germany, European Technology Center. Our American and European teams are both adept at creating scalable solutions for metal AM materials and we encourage companies who need customized material development for their applications to contact us about their specific requirements.”

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