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Casting technology and additive manufacturing

Research Focuses on Light Metal Alloys for Additive Production

| Author / Editor: Nadine Schweitzer / Daniel Richter

Increased demands on additive manufacturing processes require modified aluminium and magnesium materials as the basis for rapid prototyping. Solutions-oriented casting technology becomes more important.

Two new systems have been added to the casting technology portfolio of LRK.
( Bild: Pixabay / CC0 )

The Light Metal Competence Center Ranshofen (LKR) has expanded its casting technology portfolio and is presenting two new systems for the first time at the Hanover Fair: a horizontal continuous casting line and a cold chamber die casting machine - the company belonging to the Austrian Institute of Technology speaks of a "world premiere".

In addition, research results from the field of lightweight construction will be presented, for example on fire-resistant magnesium alloys and modified aluminium and magnesium materials for additive manufacturing welding.

The K-DAK 1100-112 die casting machine is a fully automated casting cell that is equipped with all necessary peripherals to supplement an installed die casting machine. The company will use a horizontal casting unit to produce aluminium die-cast parts weighing up to 20 kg on a semi-industrial scale.

In the development of materials for additive manufacturing welding, an attempt is made to ensure sustainability. (Picture: Light Metal Competence Center Ranshofen (LKR))
In the development of materials for additive manufacturing welding, an attempt is made to ensure sustainability. (Picture: Light Metal Competence Center Ranshofen (LKR))
( Bild: MaschinenMarkt )

The horizontal continuous casting line was put into operation last year after a development period of one year. They can produce high-quality bar material from special alloys for extrusion, forging and welding wire production - with short delivery times and low costs, they say.

In view of the increasing industrialisation of additive manufacturing processes and the resulting increased demands on the properties of the materials used, LKR Ranshofen develops new, modified aluminium and magnesium materials that serve as the basis for rapid prototyping in the form of powders or wires.

According to the LKR, the challenge is to create alloys that meet the high demands of the processes and the expected properties of the resulting components. In terms of sustainability and cost reduction, great attention was also paid to alloys that could do without expensive components.

"With the step to material development of light metal alloys for additive manufacturing, the LKR is about to open up a research topic with great potential and far-reaching effects", says Martin Schnall, Project Manager Material Development for additive manufacturing processes at the LKR.

This article was first published by MaschinenMarkt.

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