In less than a week, we saw two announcements related to new materials approved for use in the world’s fastest race cars. On the heels of Constellium’s Aheadd® CP1 aluminium additive manufacturing powder, HRL Laboratories’  7A77 high-strength Aluminum alloy has been approved for use in race cars by the  Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).

HRL Laboratories, LLC, is a corporate research-and-development laboratory owned by The Boeing Company and General Motors specializing in research into sensors and materials, information and systems sciences, applied electromagnetics, and microelectronics.

Our printable aluminum powder has been added to the list of acceptable materials for any component on a Formula One car,” said Darby LaPlant, HRL materials scientist. “This step is further validation of our 3D-printed high-strength alloy. We’re excited to be working with Formula One to bring 7A77 to an incredibly demanding application.”

The 7A77 high-strength Aluminum alloy built off the historically high-strength and low-cost wrought alloy systems. High-strength wrought 7000 and 2000 series aluminum alloys have been used for decades and are critical to many products from aircr

image via HRL

aft to sporting goods. These alloys are known for strength and low-cost alloying additions (e.g., Zn, Mg, and Cu) but have not been successfully 3D-printable. The 7A77 aluminum alloy and feedstock powder addressed these limitations as it has been designed specifically for Additive Manufacturing.

Formula One racing is known for always pushing the limits of what is possible and additive manufacturing gives them a mechanism to do that by designing fully optimized structures. Now they can use our 7A77 alloy with a yield strength of 530 MPa, the highest strength of any additive aluminum alloy,” said Toby Schaedler, HRL Department Manager.

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