HRL Laboratories’ Notches Another Milestone for 3D-Printed Aluminum

HRL Receives 19th US Patent Stemming from 3D Printing Revolution in Metallurgy

HRL Laboratories, LLC, is advancing its cutting-edge 3D-printed metals technology, extending an ever-widening portfolio of innovation in additive manufacturing with its 19th patent stemming from the revolutionary technology. HRL’s patent portfolio in this area extends back to 2014 with the early development of the process that would come to be known as functionalization.  Fifty total U.S. patent applications have been filed by HRL relating to additive manufacturing of high-strength alloys. The newest and 19th patent granted so far was issued on March 29, 2022: US 11,286,543 Aluminum Alloy Components From Additive Manufacturing.

Micrograph of a grain of HRL’s functionalized feedstock powder for additive manufacturing high-strength aluminum. © 2022 HRL Laboratories.

“Since the initial core IP was developed, HRL has continued to pursue new efforts for our owners and customers.  This recent achievement highlights a small portion of the overall patent portfolio currently under review,” said Dr. Hunter Martin, Director of HRL’s Center for Additive Materials.  HRL continues development of new materials and applications built on expanding the original functionalization technology.

HRL became a world leader  in development of additively manufactured materials with the publication of its groundbreaking Nature paper demonstrating crack-free high-strength aluminum printing in 2017 (Nature 549, pages 365–369 (2017).

HRL’s functionalized aluminum feedstock was matured into the 7A77 product line, becoming the first registered printable alloy with the Aluminum Association. The product became available for sale in 2019 (see related article here).

7A77 remains the industry leader for high-strength additive aluminum with yield strengths exceeding 600MPa (87ksi). Product sales have continued throughout the pandemic with strong growth forecasts in the future as customers continue to find high- value opportunities.

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HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, California (hrl.com) 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. HRL provides custom research and development and performs additional R&D contract services for its LLC member companies, the U.S. government, and other commercial companies.

Media Inquiries: Michele Durant, (310) 317-5321