Scalmalloy: high performance aluminum for 3D printing

3d printing Scalmalloy

Scalmalloy is a high-performance metal 3D printing material made from scandium (SC), aluminum (AL) and magnesium (M) alloy (ALLOY). 

It is lightweight, strong and has high ductility. It was developed and patented by APWorks – from the Airbus group – for use in, but not limited to, the aerospace industry.

Compared to traditional Aluminum (AlSi10Mg), Scalmalloy is much stronger due to the addition of scandium.

3D printing Scalmalloy
Lattice structured 3D printed using Scalmalloy

Rare earth material

Scandium is a rare earth metal whereas aluminum occurs in abundance.

Due to its scarcity, scandium is known to be one of the most expensive metals in the world. The price per kilogram fluctuates depending on the amount mined. It usually starts at U$4 000 and it is not abnormal to go as high as US$20 000. 

This rare metal is commonly found in Russia and China however recently it has been discovered in Australia. 

Scandium is not only a rare material, it is also hard to extract from the ore, hence the extremely high costs. For that reason, 3D printing pure scandium is not feasible.

Stronger than titanium

Despite the costs, alloys containing scandium such as Scalmalloy are ideal for high-performance applications due to its outstanding material characteristics.

To start off, parts 3D printed with Scalmalloy are lightweight, corrosion resistant and with high ductility. Besides they are also stronger than titanium.

Material properties:

  • Density: 2.67g/cm³
  • Tensile strength: 520 MPa
  • Elongation at Break: 13%

Applications of Scalmalloy

As previously mentioned, parts 3D printed in Scalmalloy are used for high-performance applications in a range of industries:

  • Automotive – Heat exchangers
  • Robotics – Hydraulic manifolds
  • Aerospace – Satellite panels
  • Motorsports – Brackets

The powder can be printed with literally any powder on selective laser melting (SLM) machines.

Wrapping up

Scalmalloy is a new material specifically developed for 3D printing. It was originally created fior the aerospace industry by Airbus, but it can be used for a wide range of high-performance applications in different industries. 

Printing with Scalmalloy can done through Beamler’s on-demand manufacturing platform.

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