Alloyed Gains Hybrid AM Research Grant

The CHAMPP program has been initiated to investigate a hybrid approach to the production of parts by considering the benefits of casting and AM.

The CHAMPP program has been initiated to investigate a hybrid approach to the production of parts by considering the benefits of casting and AM.

Image in top-left shows a lattice structure which is produced by additive manufacturing. Bottom-right hand shows microstructure of cast Al alloy. Image courtesy of Alloyed.


Alloyed reports that the CHAMPP consortium, which it is a part of, has been awarded a grant to research, develop and test a new hybrid production process that will address key limitations of additive manufacturing (AM) for the automotive sector, specifically electric vehicles (EVs). The Casting-Hybrid-Additive-Manufacturing-Parts-Production (CHAMPP) program brings together technical and market expertise with three key partners, namely Alloyed, Brunel University London's BCAST, Gestamp and its affiliate Autotech.

The CHAMPP programme has been initiated to investigate a hybrid approach to the production of parts by considering the benefits of casting and AM. The expertise of Alloyed in developing novel new alloys using its Alloy by Design (ABD) platform for casting and AM as well as the capabilities of its Engine platform for increasing AM performance, together with the expertise of BCAST and Gestamp in their respective fields of casting research and global manufacturing of automotive parts. 

The vision is to combine the low cost-per-part capabilities of casting with the design and production flexibility of AM. Then automotive manufacturers will be able to cast their standard components across multiple models, and use metal AM to customize those standard parts for specific variants at the volumes required. 

The CHAMPP project aims to build on the consortium's prior alloy and hybridization research to develop and test new aluminum alloy(s) better suited to future automotive needs. The focus will be on developing alloys that can first be cast and then subsequently built on to produce custom/complex features using AM techniques with a compatible alloy that maintains mechanical properties and performance. 

“It is exciting to be working in such a high-class consortium of companies and institutions at the cutting edge of the next-generation of casting processes in combination with additive manufacturing as part of a truly advanced hybrid technique for producing metal components,” Shouxun Ji, professor at BCAST, adds. “The future is exciting, and BACST is delighted to be central to the CHAMPP initiative.”

“We are proud to be working on the CHAMPP project alongside some prominent players in the metal production and AM space,” Potter Phil, Innovation Project Manager at Gestamp, comments. “Obviously for us the tie in with the potential for AM to be used alongside other solutions and innovations in the area of EVs is of pivotal concern, and we see the CHAMPP programme as vital to the furtherance of safer, lighter, more energy efficient, and more environmentally-friendly vehicles in the future.”

“We are delighted to be a part of the CHAMPP programme and bring our considerable experience and expertise to the project,” says Sajjad Amirkhanlou, program director at Alloyed, comments on the grant award. “It is vital for AM—if it is to fulfil its true potential—that the speed, size and cost limitations are addressed fully. Through the CHAMPP programme we will tackle these issues head-on by taking a multidisciplinary approach and combining AM with an efficient and optimised casting process.”

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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