Constellium presents the new aluminium atomizer with its partner the French manufacturing institute IRT M2P of Uckange
On Friday, October 13, 2023, the Constellium team, in partnership with the French manufacturing institute IRT M2P of Uckange, organized a day of presentation of the new aluminium atomizer. This pilot line will be used to support development, industrialization and optimization of aluminium powders designed specifically for Additive Manufacturing using Laser Powder Bed Fusion (LPBF), meeting the needs of Constellium customers today and tomorrow.
Constellium initiated several years ago the development of a new family of Aheadd® powders such as CP1 to meet the growing needs of our customers. This new family of alloys has demonstrated very significant advantages over current solutions to simplify processing, reduce costs and improve component performance, enabling aluminium LPBF to scale in multiple industries. The group has chosen to partner with IRT M2P to accelerate the development of the powder production process, including projects on sustainability and recycling.
This new VIGA (Vacuum Induction Gas Atomization) tower is a cutting-edge pilot-scale facility, with a capacity sufficient to fill partner LPBF systems for in-depth studies. At this scale, this is the first machine producing Aheadd aluminium powders in France for high-value applications in aviation, space, automotive, defense and semiconductor manufacturing as well as on-demand spare parts in multiple industries including rail.
The Constellium partnership and the IRT M2P
This day allowed guests and partners to discover the VIGA tower, and attend presentations describing achievements with Aheadd® CP1 and the Constellium vision for the future.
The partnership, proposed and presented by Dr. Alireza ARBAB, Head of Constellium Additive Manufacturing, will include key French customers as well as printing partners including the CETIM manufacturing centres.
The 4 main goals of the partnership have been identified as below:
• Develop an eco-responsible and competitive production route in France
• Improve product & process performance through better understanding of atomizing
• Support customers to print and qualify Aheadd® alloys (CP1 20-63 and other products in the Aheadd® family)
• Develop new Aheadd® alloys to meet market current and future needs such as high strength, high printing productivity, high temperature stability …
“Our commitment to the IRT and the government bodies that contributed to this project, which is part of objective 3 “Decarbonize our industry” of France 2030, was necessary. Indeed, we wish to reaffirm our desire to meet the demand of our strategic customers in sectors such as defense and aerospace by developing the missing link of additive powder production in the region. With the aluminium powder atomization, we wish to support the French additive production sector.
This pilot opens the doors to the development on an industrial scale of this process for Constellium in France. Powder production represents an area with high growth potential in which we are determined to continue our investments. »
- Ludovic Piquier, Senior VP Manufacturing Excellence and Chief Technology Officer.