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  Home > News > Aluminum Association introduces Material Designation System for 3D Printing
 
Aluminum Association introduces Material Designation System for 3D Printing
Tuesday, Apr 23, 2019
Aluminum Association released its first new material registration record in nearly 20 years. The “purple sheets” will provide clear chemical designations for aluminum powder used in 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing. The purple sheets are the newest addition to the Aluminum Association’s long-running “rainbow sheet” series, which provides alloy designations and chemical composition limits for various types of aluminum. Aluminum is the first materials industry to develop such a system specific to the 3D printing market. The first registration granted is for a high-strength aluminum alloy produced by HRL Laboratories, LLC. The association will grant HRL registration number 7A77.50 for the aluminum powder used to additively manufacture the alloy, and number 7A77.60L for the printed alloy.

Mr Jerome Fourmann, global technical director at Rio Tinto Aluminum and chairman of the association’s Technical Committee on Product Standards said that “The purple sheets are a true game-changer for the aluminum industry. For the first time ever, a materials industry has developed a designation system specific to additive manufacturing, opening tremendous growth potential through standardization.”

Mr Heidi Brock, president & CEO of the Aluminum Association said that “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 aluminum in additive manufacturing and 3D printing.”

A recent report by market research firm SmarTech projected that additive manufacturing using aluminum powder could grow to be a USD 300 million industry over the next decade. Key markets for aluminum powder in 3D printing include aerospace, automotive, energy transmission and consumer products.

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