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The MPIF Standard 35 for powder metallurgy now includes two aluminum alloys in the 2xxx designation series.

The Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) released a new materials standard for aluminum alloys, which will become part of their Materials Standards for Metal Injection Molded Parts publication.

The new standards for AC-2014-32-T8 and AC-2014-38-T8 provide design and materials engineers with performance requirements for specifying aluminum alloys in powder metallurgy.

Spotlight on Aluminum Alloys AC-2014-32-T8 and AC-2014-38-T8

Thanks to the addition of .7% to 6.8% copper, both of the newly standardized powder metal alloys fall outside of the ‘pure aluminum’ series, which requires a minimum composition of 99% aluminum. They are heat treatable, and strain hardening isn’t typically used in casting this alloy series.

In general, the higher the tensile strength, the greater its hardness. In the case of their specific material commercial designation (2014), these two alloys achieve a minimum Brinell hardness number of 45. The new MPIF standards identify a Rockwell hardness of 75 for AC-2014-32-T8 and 83 for the AC-2014-38-T8 counterpart alloy.

Because of their relative high strength in a range of temperatures and their overall mechanical performance, these alloys are often chosen for aerospace and aircraft applications. However, they may be susceptible to hot cracking and stress corrosion cracking during welding, so the base alloys should be welded to compatible filler alloys, like other 2xxx series or 4xxx series fillers, which contain silicon.

The ‘T’ in both aluminum alloy naming conventions refers to thermal treatment to produce a stable temper in the alloys. Together with its numerical partner (8), the ‘T8’ indicates that the indicated standard results from heat treatment in solution, cold working, and artificial aging.

For heat treatment, MPIF brought these alloys to 502° C (935° F) to bring the alloying elements into solution. Then the materials were quenched in water and cold-worked before being artificially aged at 160° C (320° F) for 18 hours to precipitate the compounds from their supersaturated state.

What is MPIF Standard 35?

The Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) tests powder metals and then issues standards to help guide designers and materials engineers apply those standards to production within additive manufacturing processes, like metal-injection molding (MIM) or 3DEO’s Intelligent Layering® metal 3D printing process.

The current edition of MPIF Standard 35 covers 42 standards for metal powders, powder metal and metal injection molded parts, metallic filters, and powder metallurgy equipment. The MPIF standards for material specifications include:

  • Minimum strength value
  • Grade selection
  • Chemistry
  • Proof testing typical property values and processes

The MPIF updates the Standard 35, as it did in 2016 with the addition of MIM-440 stainless steel, MIM-Cu copper, and MIM-4140 low-alloy steel.

MPIF Standard 35 for Metal 3D Printing

Although AM technologies like 3D printing are new, the MPIF Standard 35 provides guidelines that designers and engineers can trust, with the testing to and instrumentation to back up the results.

For industries that rely on consistent and predictable materials performance, like aerospace, automotive, industrial, and medical device manufacturers, the MPIF standards give assurance that components designed with powder metallurgical promises will fulfill their design intentions, each and every time.

3DEO and MPIF Standard 35: Trusted Standards Meet Innovation

Typically, MIM is the AM process considered when applying the MPIF Standard 35, but 3DEO’s revolutionary metal 3D printing process achieves the MPIF standards for parts manufacturing without molding, which is a first in metal additive manufacturing

3DEO will continue to expand our menu of powder metal options, and we don’t yet offer aluminum-alloy part production; however we do specialize in the low- to mid-volume production of complex stainless steel parts with an eye to reduce the cost-per-part by as much as 80 percent compared to other manufacturing processes.

Contact us today to learn more about how 3DEO can help bring your complex design to life.


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