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High strength aluminium alloy design for Selective Laser Melting - Belgium  

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Posted on : 12 June 2017

Project Description

  • The main goal of the current project is to develop an innovative High Strength Al alloy, feasible by powder metallurgy and suitable for Selective Laser Melting (SLM), with improved weldability and increased mechanical and corrosion resistance in comparison to cast grades Al alloys currently employed in Additive Manufacturing (AM). The AlForAMA project is focused on powder bed based additive manufacturing (AM) of the innovative Al alloy. 
  • Selective Laser Melting (SLM), that utilizes a laser as a thermal energy source to melt the powder has been chosen as the preferred AM technology.
  •  Development of the innovative aluminium alloy specifically designed for SLM will be mainly focused on two different aspects: on one hand, on tailoring the chemical composition to improve process ability and/or mechanical response of well-established commercial aluminium alloys and, on the other hand, on defining the specific P/M processing of the raw powder material. 
  • Raw materials for SLM, produced in a powder form, will be obtained by the atomization process or, alternatively, by a mixing procedure of different starting powders. A suitable heat treatment will be defined for the developed innovative Al alloy after its SLM processing.
  •  To optimize thermal treatments, the AlForAMA project will consider the specific microstructural characteristics that SLM generates. 
  • SLM process development will be performed to ensure a defect free material manufacturing. 
  • A deep characterization of the new material will be carried out including mechanical, chemical and corrosion aspects.
  •  Afterwards the manufacturing process will be validated at the component level. 
  • The AlForAMA project will be elaborated by a well-balanced consortium that brings together 3 partners: the technical institutes LORTEK and IMDEA (Spain) and a university.

We are looking for a motivated and creative researcher with:
  • a master degree in materials engineering with a strong background in (solidification) metallurgy  and with proven experience using thermodynamic software packages such as   Thermocalc 
  • practical knowledge on additive manufacturing  technology, especially selective laser melting, is a plus 
  • good grades (at least 'distinction' or 'cum  laude' in the master degree 
  • good English communication skills (both  written and oral) 
  • open character, creative mind, no 9-to-5   mentality

The successful candidate will:
  • be involved in cutting-edge research in  renomated research divisions.
  • receive a doctoral scholarship for one year,  renewable up to four years, and a PhD degree in Engineering Science, if  successful 
  • receive a highly specialized training, not  only on powder preparation and additive manufacturing, but also with the  possibility to follow the skills and competence courses 
  • Multiple benefits (health insurance, access to  university infrastructure and sports facilities)