Leading global aluminium producer Russian RUSAL has successfully completed a closed additive manufacturing cycle at the Institute of Light Materials and Technologies. RUSAL's significant investment in resources and facility development at the Additive Technology Centre has so far amounted to EUR 3.5 million. The opening of an additive powder manufacturing site and the installation of new equipment including an atomiser and a powder sizing and packaging line, made it possible for RUSAL to launch the complete production cycle at the company's own research and development centre. Opening the new site will enable the ILM&T to develop unique, high strength and heat-resistant aluminium-based materials specifically designed for additive manufacturing, providing an entire range of turnkey services for RUSAL customers. These services range from material creation and printing technology to engineering and optimising parts for printing technologies. The new equipment also allows for the production of a significant variety of materials, due to its quick changeover capacity.
At present, a promising focus area of work at the ILM&T is the creation of a high heat-resistant aluminium alloy, adapted for 3D printing that will be able to perform at temperatures of up to 400 Degree С. In 2019, the ILM&T launched a new range of unique aluminium alloys for 3D printing, which performed significantly better when compared to their analogues. These products have since been utilised in the fields of medicine, mechanical engineering and the space industry.
The ILM&T was founded by RUSAL in 2017. The primary objective of the Institute being to develop, innovate and launch new varieties of aluminium-based products and materials into the market.