ASP launch “state of the art” alloys from Power Light Metals GmbH
A new and exciting range of aluminium alloys is to be launched at the Farnborough International Air Show, from 14-20 July.
Aluminium Special Products Limited (ASP) will release details of a new range of alloys produced by Powder Light Metals GmbH (PLM), based in Gladbeck, Germany. ASP is exclusive representative for PLM for the UK and USA.
PLM was founded in 2000 by Klaus Hummert, a recognised world leader in powder metallurgy (PM), with the aim of optimising existing technology and driving forward the state of the art in PM alloys in production volumes, not just in the laboratory.
David Robinson, managing director of ASP, says: “Much of the theory behind the alloys in PLM’s range is not that new. For example, it is common knowledge that rapid solidification can produce higher alloys than is possible with traditional melt techniques.
“What is exciting is that PLM is not locked into one process, with obvious limitations. They have perfected volume production techniques across a whole range of processes, enabling them to choose the ideal processing route for a specific application and deliver products with microstructure and homogeneity that delight our customers.”
“Where customers have been wary in the past of inconsistency or difficulties in machining, we can deliver materials that machine better than anything else available, consistently. What is most exciting for us is that PLM can manufacture these materials in volume, at costs never before seen in advanced aluminium alloys. They really do bridge the gap between standard materials and so-called advanced alloys. Furthermore, most people think of advanced alloys for small critical parts be we can offer designers far greater scope as we can supply billets up to 550mm Diam x 900mm long and a block size up to 450mm x 450mm x 900mm.”
One major ASP customer is Selex Galileo, which has excellent design and manufacturing capability throughout the business. ASP has supplied high silicon alloys for key programmes, one for just over 12 years, but all of them confidential. Their own precision machining facility at Basildon produces the most demanding components for the defence industry.
Selex confirm that the materials machine as well as anything available to them, if not better, especially for very fine tolerance and surface finish demands. PLM high silicon alloys of up to 60% silicon have become preferred materials for the design team.
Another customer in the field of opto-electronics is using the machining properties of high silicon alloys AlSi40 and AlSi50 to introduce to the market a real alternative to beryllium-based materials, with all its undesirable qualities.”
David added: “Much of what we supply is restricted by confidentiality, so it is quite difficult to spread the word. For instance, we have supplied Formula One for many years with high temperature alloys, but still don’t know exactly what components are made from these. However, we have chosen this year’s Air Show to announce the materials formally, as PLM is now in a position to support new applications and volume demands, having invested considerably in processing equipment.
“It has been a long time in coming but the benefit is that the know-how developed in that time puts PLM in a world leading position in their field. We are very proud to be associated with them.”