The Aluminum Association, Virginia, USA, has released a materials designation system which it believes to be the first of its kind specific to the Additive Manufacturing industry. The ‘purple sheets’ will reportedly provide clear chemical designations for aluminium powder used in Additive Manufacturing and are the newest addition to the organisation’s ‘rainbow sheet’ series, which provides alloy designations and chemical composition limits for various types of aluminium.
Representing aluminium production and jobs in the USA, the Aluminum Association provides global standards, business intelligence, sustainability research and industry expertise to member companies, policymakers and the general public. According to the organisation, the first registration to be granted will be for a high-strength aluminium alloy produced by HRL Laboratories, LLC, California, USA. The company will receive the registration number 7A77.50 for the aluminium powder used to additively manufacture the alloy and number 7A77.60L for the printed alloy.
“The purple sheets are a true game-changer for the aluminium industry,” stated Jerome Fourmann, Global Technical Director at Rio Tinto Aluminum and chairman of the association’s Technical Committee on Product Standards. “For the first time ever, a materials industry has developed a designation system specific to Additive Manufacturing, opening tremendous growth potential through standardisation.”
A recent report by market research firm, SmarTech, Virginia, USA, projected that Additive Manufacturing using aluminium powder could grow to be a $300 million industry over the next decade. Key markets for aluminium powder in AM include aerospace, automotive, energy transmission and consumer products.
Heidi Brock, President & CEO of the Aluminum Association, commented, “For decades, the Aluminum Association’s alloy and temper designation system has helped companies to gain wider acceptance in commercial applications – promoting the material’s use in the marketplace. The purple sheets are the next chapter in that story as we look toward a future of aluminium in Additive Manufacturing.”
The Aluminium Association is expected to publish its ‘purple sheets’ later this year. Individuals or organisations interested in having their product considered for inclusion in the inaugural publication of the material designation system can register via the association website