Aluminum Magnesium Powder

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aluminum magnesium powder is an off-white material that acts as an absorbent and opacifying agent. It is used as a raw material in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and also in the production of pressed eye shadows. When it is mixed with nitrates and a catalyst, it becomes a pyrotechnic flash powder that can be ignited to produce light or explosive effects. Flash powder is typically sold in a mixture with dark pyro aluminium and potassium perchlorate to give a stoichiometric ratio of nine parts fuel to one part oxidizer, and this is the composition of choice for most pyrotechnic uses. The combination provides a good balance of stability and power, resulting in a “poof” rather than the traditional bang of a fireworks display.

A method of producing this powder has been developed at VAMI by atomizing a magnesium melt using jets of nitrogen at a temperature 50-70degC higher than the melting point of the metal. This allows the main reaction to take place under conditions of self-confinement and limits side reactions to a minimum, which can be controlled by the choice of an appropriate nitrate.

The powder has high batch stability, good sphericity, low oxygen content and loose density. It is suitable for use in laser / electron beam additive manufacturing (SLM / EBM), powder metallurgy and spraying, and can be used to fabricate aerospace components with exceptional strength and corrosion resistance. Airbus Group APWorks GmbH, in cooperation with the R&D department of the Airbus Group, has further developed this material to produce Scalmalloy, a scandium-aluminum magnesium alloy for metallic 3D printing and other applications. This new material combines the superior corrosion resistance of aluminium with the specific strength of titanium, and is capable of producing components with profile cross-sections up to 15-18 inches.

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