ACE: The Ageless Aluminum Revolution

Organization: Critical Materials Institute
Co-Developer(s): Eck Industries Oak Ridge National Laboratory Ames Laboratory Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Year: 2017

ACE: The Ageless Aluminum Revolution is a new aluminum-based alloy product that does not require heat treatment or preconditioning. The advantages of ACE are particularly apparent in large format products that are subject to distortion during heat treatment. It is ideal for engine components and other high temperature applications, retaining 100 percent of its room temperature yield strength at 240°C and over 80 percent at 300°C. ACE alloys exhibit excellent mechanical properties in the as-cast state and excellent castability, without the need for an energy-intensive secondary heat-treatment step. This unique combination of properties makes ACE alloys ideal candidates for a wide variety of structural applications that require complex mold filling, high production throughput and exceptional mechanical performance. Permanent mold casting (including low-pressure permanent mold) and high-pressure die casting are two casting processes that will utilize this invention. ACE has already led to a number of new applications including pistons for high-performance gasoline and diesel engines, impeller blades for hydroelectric power applications and new, lighter rotary engine rotors.