Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

A Novel High-strength Aluminium Alloy developed for Selective Laser Melting and Lightweight Applications

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.04.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Materials science and technology   

Code Science Field
2.05  Engineering and Technology  Materials engineering 
High-strength Aluminum Alloys, Metal Powders, Additive Manufacturing, Selective Laser Melting, Microstructural Characterization, Corrosion Resistance, Mechanical Testing, Nanoparticles, Transition Metals, Rare-Earth Powders, In-situ Substrate Preheating, Plasma Powder Surface Treatment
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on June 22, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender, archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  1,267  35,413  30,233  23.86 
Scopus  1,315  39,173  33,731  25.65 
Researchers (18)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  29158  PhD Elena Chernyshova  Physics  Researcher  2021 - 2024 
2.  25126  PhD Črtomir Donik  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2021 - 2024 
3.  00582  PhD Miran Gaberšček  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2021 - 2024  10 
4.  10842  PhD Matjaž Godec  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2021 - 2024 
5.  18475  PhD Aleksandra Kocijan  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2021 - 2024 
6.  51955  PhD Jakob Kraner  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2021 
7.  38186  PhD Simon Malej  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2022 - 2024 
8.  10429  PhD Miran Mozetič  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2021 - 2024 
9.  52423  PhD Domen Paul  Electronic components and technologies  Junior researcher  2021 - 2024 
10.  28660  PhD Irena Paulin  Materials science and technology  Head  2021 - 2024 
11.  15269  PhD Bojan Podgornik  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2021 - 2024 
12.  54940  PhD Dean Popović  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2021 
13.  37779  PhD Francisco Ruiz Zepeda  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2021 - 2023 
14.  16095  PhD Danijela Anica Skobir Balantič  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2021 - 2024 
15.  25498  PhD Barbara Šetina Batič  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2022 - 2024 
16.  55814  Nejc Velikajne  Materials science and technology  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024 
17.  38187  PhD Tim Verbovšek  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2022 - 2024 
18.  20048  PhD Alenka Vesel  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2021 - 2024 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0206  Institute of Metals and Technology  Ljubljana  5051622000 
2.  0104  National Institute of Chemistry  Ljubljana  5051592000  10 
3.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  18 
The project will develop a novel high-strength Al alloy directly suitable for additive manufacturing (AM). For the development of the alloy’s composition, the commercial AA7075 alloy will be taken as a precursor material. The developed alloy is expected to have improved mechanical properties as well as to meet the requirements for AM, particularly for selective laser melting (SLM). The precursor AA7075 Al alloy is a high-strength, lightweight material with a favourable combination of properties, such as a high thermal conductivity, high strength and superior mechanical properties. It is widely used for various functional structures in aerospace-related technologies. However, the use of conventionally derived high-strength Al-alloy powders for the AM-built parts is currently still very limited due to the extensive cracking of the material during processing. The main challenges of the material and its AM processing lie in the reduction of the solidification range of the alloys, the Al-matrix grain-size refinement and the realization of a bimodal microstructure. To achieve the ambitious aim of the project, we will implement carefully designed, step-by-step procedures: developing of a novel high-strength Al-alloy composition, powder preparation, SLM process adaptation, and post-processing heat treatment. In the final step, the developed laboratory- procedures will be transferred to the industrial level. A new chemical composition of the high strength Al alloy will be designed by a computer-aided modelling based on two approaches: (I) addition of the elements (Si, Fe,..) to the AA7075 melt to reduce the solidification range and (II) addition of rare earth (RE) and/or selected material’s nanoparticles, which promote grain refinement, to the feedstock powder. The modified alloy will be cast and its solidification behaviour will be tested by laser surface melting. This innovative approach is designed to simulate the material’s behaviour during the SLM process. In the next step, arc melting atomization with carefully tailored parameters will be used for the preparation of spherical feedstock powders from both newly developed and commercial AA7075 Al alloys. Further, an extensive SLM process adaptation in terms of process parameter’s optimization, tailoring the feedstock powders by adding RE elements and/or various materials’ nanoparticles (Sc, Ti2B, Al3Zr) for grain refinement, and stage preheating will take place. Especially high expectations are fixed on the stage preheating. This process can be seen as in situ annealing during the SLM process that prevents cracking of the built material by eliminating the internal stresses as well as simultaneously carrying out aging. Therefore, it might eliminate the post-processing heat treatment, which will be beneficial in terms of time and cost saving. Through the collaboration with the co-financing industrial partner IMPOL (the Slovenian leading partner in aluminium production) and MARSI (the Slovenian leading company in additive manufacturing of SLM), the transfer of the laboratory-level SLM-processed high-strength alloy to industrial equipment will be carried out, and the application’s potential for further industrial development will be explored. The know-how will be available to the broader spectrum of the Slovenian industrial companies under intellectual property rights (IPR) agreements. The project will bring new aspects into the design of novel alloys for SLM technology and upgrade a conventional metallurgical approach by combining material development, nanotechnology and the advanced SLM laser-processing technique. On the broader scale, the expected project outcome will strengthen the competitiveness and growth of the Slovenian high-tech companies in the fields of automotive, aviation, aerospace, mechanical engineering and other sectors, allowing them to meet the needs of European and global markets.
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