AML3D Limited (ASX: AL3) is making strong progress in its project to develop a new high strength aluminium-scandium welding wire for its patented wire arc manufacturing (WAM) technology.
The additive manufacturing technology company today announced further success of its industry-scale welding trials using innovative new alloy compositions, claiming the project outcomes are expected to enable access to new industry segments and provide promising opportunities in wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM).
Motivated by preliminary results of Deakin University research investigating the effect of scandium as a strengthening element for existing aluminium welding wire, AML3D’s trials are targeting the creation of high strength, commercially viable aluminium-scandium compounds, which remove the need for age hardening heat treatment.
According to AML3D, the new alloy composition allows the creation of high strength, corrosion resistant WAAM structures, bespoke to the company’s WAM technology.
“As the project enters its final six months, its success will enable many new applications for WAM with the automotive, resources (mining, oil and gas) and broader transport industries (such as shipbuilding) showing strong interest in high strength aluminium products,” the company stated.
AML3D had secured an Australian patent for its WAM technology in June. The patent covers the company’s manufacturing method for a metallic part using any weldable metal by solid freeform fabrication enhanced by an atmospheric protection device and synergic heating and cooling apparatus.
The patent also covers AML3D’s computer-generated 3D models of parts and technology for uploading direction-specific layered models into a welding control system.
AML3D managing director Andrew Sales said the company’s patented WAM technology is well proven and approved for commercial use in many industries worldwide.
“We have been moving forward with building a pipeline of cutting-edge materials research and development that will allow us to easily manufacture components from exotic alloys offering huge benefits in strength and weight while offering all the cost and efficiency savings of additive manufacture,” he said.
New target industries and revenue prospects
AML3D believes the project presents new target industries for the company’s target markets of Asia Pacific (including Japan and South Korea), Europe (Germany, France and the United Kingdom) and North America, with identified industry applications for the technology in these regions.
As the project has the potential to generate new Australian-owned intellectual property, AML3D said it could also gain another competitive advantage, which would increase revenue prospects.
“The success of the new development is expected to significantly increase current opportunities in both printer sales and contract manufacturing services,” the company stated.
AML3D also expects to increase its strong collaboration with the university sector as a result of this project with Deakin University.
“This is the first of some significant moves AML3D is making in this space with our technology partners and we will be issuing further updates around this materials engineering pipeline in the short term,” Mr Sales said.