HRL’s 7A77 High-Strength Aluminum Alloy Added to List of Allowable Materials for Construction of Formula One Cars
MALIBU, Calif. May 8, 2023— HRL Laboratories, LLC, achieved another milestone for its 7A77 aluminum alloy and feedstock powder designed specifically for additive manufacturing when the material has been officially authorized for parts on Formula One race cars.
“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.”
Formula One, or F1, is the highest class of international auto racing for open-wheel, single-seat race cars. F1 is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the body that decides on approved materials. The “formula” in the name does not refer to a mixture of substances, but to the set of rules that dictate the parameters that all F1 cars must conform to. It is that rigorous list to which HRL 7A77 has been added.
“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.
HRL’s new class of 3D-printable high-strength aluminum alloys was based on historically high-strength and low-cost wrought alloy systems such as Al-7075. HRL is working on designing additional alloys for 3D printing.
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.
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