Patents granted for Reactive Additive Manufacturing
On November 8, 2019, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent for Elementum 3D’s core technology – Reactive Additive Manufacturing (RAM). Patents for this technology have also been granted to Elementum 3D in Australia and Canada with patent applications pending in additional countries. Elementum 3D’s RAM technology is enabling the application of high-performance materials with additive manufacturing. The disruptive benefits of RAM are positively impacting multiple industries. RAM technology allows for the creation of materials capable of producing lighter and higher specific strength components – key areas in the AM marketplace.
RAM technology provides the following advantages:
- Capable of printing standard and custom materials previously unprintable
- Introduces volume production of AM parts with superior properties
- Improves microstructural integrity compared to the commercial base alloys
- Provides design freedom for the introduction of new applications
- Enables the production of metal composites with smaller reinforcement particle sizes (improves part strength and toughness)
- Cost effective (faster print speed and lower energy use)
- Overcomes conventional MMC production problems
- Increases adoption rate of AM
The RAM process expands the benefits of additive manufacturing to new high-performance materials that improve existing applications and enable new innovative applications that were not previously possible.
Masten’s Broadsword 25K rocket engine printed from Elementum 3D’s advanced aluminum composite successfully hot fired
Using additive manufacturing (AM) built components in rocket engines has been the goal for many years. On December 10, 2019, Masten Space System Inc., Airforce Research Laboratory (AFRL), and NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate successfully performed a fifth hot fire of the Broadsword 25K engine with 10 seconds of steady state combustion. The liquid methane engine was printed with A1000-RAM10, a lightweight, high-performance metal matrix composite material. The successful 10 second steady state hot fire marked final project deliverable for the technology developed under the NASA Tipping Point program. Elementum 3D’s A1000-RAM10 material performed flawlessly in extreme conditions and offers exceptional performance at a low price.
An economical aluminum metal matrix composite is available!
Elementum 3D is excited to announce new low pricing for our reinforced aluminum A1000-RAM10. A1000-RAM10’s straight out of the printer performance is unlike any other low-cost aluminum.
Pricing begins at $50/kg and includes process parameters. It is one of the most adaptable aluminum alloy products offered by Elementum 3D and can be applied to a broad range of applications, from the Broadsword 25K rocket engine (as mentioned in the above Masten article) to automotive parts to general-purpose components. It is as versatile as your imagination.
A1000-RAM10 is also one of Elementum 3D’s metal-matrix composite (MMC) products, with 10 percent volume percent ceramic in an aluminum matrix. Elementum 3D’s MMCs combine the ductility, conductivity and toughness of metals with the strength, hardness, stiffness, and wear resistance of ceramic reinforcing phases. Key advantages of A1000-RAM10 include high-performance across a wide range of temperatures, excellent thermal stability, high specific stiffness, and good wear resistance. In addition, our low material pricing, high productivity process parameters, and no requirement for post process heat treatment make this the most affordable material option available!
Volume production of high quality parts using Additive Manufacturing is a growing reality and it is refreshing to know we have arrived at the age of AM materials freedom.
A6061-RAM2 is flying high
Elementum 3D’s A6061-RAM2 material has established flight heritage in space and the stratosphere. Orbital Micro Systems (OMS) has launched its IOD-1 GEMS CubeSat with a printed A6061-RAM2 antenna deployment mechanism. The CubeSat is currently orbiting Earth and is the first of a planned constellation of 48 satellites. The OMS CubeSat collects atmospheric observation data for delivery of actionable comprehensive, accurate, and frequent weather data.
Ball Aerospace, under a contract with DARPA flew its stratOAWL™ wind measurement instrument in the stratosphere. The design uses our A6061-RAM2 product for the primary outer structure which also acts as the principle heat sink and features a number of innovations that allow it to measure stratospheric winds in two directions from more than 8.6 miles (14 km) away. Ball Aerospace is excited about establishing flight history for A6061-RAM2 in the wind measurement instrument, and as a result they have stocked our 6061 material in preparation for infusing it into every aspect of their hardware.
Elementum 3D materials enters Formula 1 racing
Formula 1’s regulations have evolved through 70 years of iteration, innovation, and exhaustive trial and error. Now, 3D printing is changing the world of Formula 1 with methods that allow rapid iteration, high precision, and innovative complex designs. Elementum 3D’s A6061-RAM2 and A2024-RAM2 materials are specifically called out as approved materials for additive manufacturing in the 2021 Season Formula 1 Technical Regulations. Having access to these innovative high-performance materials will drive Formula 1 cars to new limits and faster speeds.
NASA Phase III SBIR grant advances GRCop-42 Additive Manufacturing
Elementum 3D is working with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center on a Phase III SBIR grant to develop a large format additive manufacturing process for GRCop-42. The scope of the project includes process development for large format print quality and speed, property characterization, and delivery of rocket engine components. GRCop-42 is a copper alloy developed at NASA Glenn Research Center that provides a good combination of strength and conductivity at high temperature.
Elementum 3D is committed to the health and safety of our employees, associates, and the public and has implemented social distancing and other precautions in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. We are designated as Essential Critical Infrastructure and therefore remain operational with required on-site staff and those who are able working from home. The Elementum 3D team is looking into opportunities to help during this challenging time.
Elementum 3D visits Asia
Plans had been in place to visit Japan ever since the completion of Sumitomo Corporation of Americas investment in Elementum 3D. In addition, the TCT Japan trade show has been on our radar due to the steady growth of AM in the Asian market.
In late January 2020, Jacob Nuechterlein, President and founder, and Steve Wagner, VP Sales, traveled for their first time to Japan and the trip was a huge success (including the Sushi). The visit to Sumitomo headquarters made it possible to connect in-person with key individuals. Many of the discussions throughout the day brought about achievable business opportunities. Both corporations found synergy around a variety of materials which could benefit existing and new applications in the mining and automotive industries.
TCT Japan 2020 proved to be an eye opener for Jacob and Steve. The event was smaller than expected but year-after-year continues to grow in exhibitors and attendees. They were impressed with the caliber of opportunities and made in-person connections with current clients and a variety of businesses that are interested in offering customers Elementum 3D’s expanded materials freedom.
As Elementum 3D builds momentum, so has our need to grow our amazing team. Placing team members in positions fitting their unique talents and expertise has made it possible to grow our materials deliveries while continuing to introduce new and innovative products and services.
Charles Campbell – Account Manager
Anthony Manerbino – Technical Sales
Victoria Clark – Customer Service
Nik LeMoine – Technician
Garrett Arnold – Technician
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