Powdermet, Inc. of Euclid, Ohio, has made significant advancements in the performance levels of forged nanocomposite aluminum alloys. Working with the U.S. Army, Powdermet’s nano/micro-aluminum composites have achieved 30-50% higher ductility than traditional high-strength aluminum alloys such as aluminum-lithium. Powdermet has devised a powder-metallurgy process allowing the retention of nano-crystallites and ductile phases throughout the powder-forging process, resulting in near-net-shape, high-strength aluminum materials having over 16% elongation prior to failure.

 In other news, Powdermet joined a joint-venture development team with Oshkosh Defense, Eck Industries and the University of Wisconsin-Madison for “Transformational Technology for Fabrication of Ultra-High-Performance Lightweight Aluminum and Magnesium Nanocomposites.” This partnership will develop and produce lighter, stronger aluminum and magnesium structural components “that will revolutionize the lightweight structures marketplace.” The program goal is to achieve low-cost, high-strength aluminum materials with the strength of steel but at much lower weight. Powdermet explains this joint venture will allow it to expand the use of nanocomposites beyond their current use by greatly reducing the cost of these materials and by taking their application from simple molded or machined parts into larger, complex metal castings.