Metal additive manufacturing specialist Amaero International Limited (ASX:3DA) has applied for broad international patent coverage for its “Amaero HOT Al” heat treatable aluminium alloy.
CEO, Barrie Finnin, said Amaero HOT Al has entered its final approval stage of the national phase of the Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT). The PCT is an international treaty with more than 150 Contracting States, allowing patent protection for an invention simultaneously in a large number of countries by filing a single “international” patent application, instead of filing several separate national or regional patent applications.
The granting of patents remains under the control of the national or regional patent offices in what is called the “national phase”, which Amaero HOT Al has now entered.
There has been a significant amount of work completed over more than half a century to improve the heat tolerance of aluminium alloys, to allow them to withstand higher operating temperatures without degradation of mechanical properties,” Mr Finnin said.
Today, we have a solution through the company’s newly developed Aluminium-scandium alloy, Amaero HOT Al.
Aluminium alloys are not generally selected for applications above 160°C, as they are prone to soften and over-age over a period of time, hence for many applications, heavier materials such as steels or titanium alloys are selected to provide the necessary hot strength despite the trade-off in weight.
Amaero HOT Al, Amaero’s new high performance aluminium alloy with scandium, is a heat treatable version, providing a higher increment of tensile strength per atomic percent than any other alloying element when added to aluminium. Amaero HOT Al is stable up to temperatures of 260°C for prolonged periods and can be directly aged (age hardening heat treatment) after 3D printing, to yield superior strength and durability.
As the third most abundant element in the earth’s crust, aluminium weighs only one-third of steel (2.7 g/cm3), hence aluminium alloyed components are suitable for use in the aerospace industry, including welded gas tanks, structures for dashboard panels and compartments, as well as large stamped and welded structures.
Aluminium–scandium alloys (Al-Sc alloys) were discovered and patented in 1971 in the United States, and have been used in aviation, aerospace, nuclear reactors, heat exchangers and satellite components.
In recent years they have also found applications in sports equipment, including baseball bats and tennis rackets, bicycle frames and tent poles etc. American firearms company Smith & Wesson manufacture revolvers predominantly using Al-Sc alloys.
The aviation industry supports US$2.7 trillion in world economic activity (3.6% of global gross domestic product), with the global aerospace and defence market estimated to be valued at US$1600 billion in the year 2025, growing at a CAGR of 3.5% in the period 2019 to 2025.