Aluminum alloys are key materials in additive manufacturing (AM) technologies thanks to their low density that, coupled with the possibility to create complex geometries of these innovative processes, can be exploited for several applications in aerospace and automotive fields. The AM process of these alloys had to face many challenges because, due to their low laser absorption, high thermal conductivity and reduced powder flowability, they are characterized by poor processability. Nowadays mainly Al-Si alloys are processed, however, in recent years many efforts have been carried out in developing new compositions specifically designed for laser based powder bed AM processes. This paper reviews the state of the art of the aluminum alloys used in the laser powder bed fusion process, together with the microstructural and mechanical characterizations.
Keywords: additive manufacturing; aluminum; composition; laser powder bed fusion; mechanical properties.