PLM alloys can be formed by applying all available shaping technologies. However, processing parameters have to be adjusted according to the requirements of the alloys. Normally, forming has to be done under isothermal conditions. Preferably, hydraulically driven equipment should be utilized for highest yield in forming. Among others, standard technologies are hot extrusion, die forging, open die forging, rolling, backwards extrusion, coining or rotary swaging. PLM has great experience and a lot of detailed know-how with these technologies.
As there is no special equipment required for metal forming almost all of the metal forming jobs are suitable for outsourcing. PLM is taking advantage of this. However, PLM has control on the processes by "hands-on-management".
PLM alloys can be machined by applying all standard processes such like drilling, milling, turning and others. Due to their nano-crystalline microstructure and their pure metallic composition extremely good surface finishes may be achieved when using optimized processing parameters (high speed cutting (HSC) and/or high speed milling (HSM)) in combination with up-to-date cutting inserts (cemented carbides, PCD inserts). All PM alloys machine into short cutting chips without any additions of chip breaking elements.
By long term experience PLM has accumulated significant know-how and special knowledge in machining of high performance aluminum and difficult-to-machine alloys. Appropriate machining centers of the latest generation are available including state-of-the-art measuring systems (3D measuring).
All PLM alloys can be coated by applying conventional techniques. Coatings may be for decorative reasons or to improve wear resistance for compositions without Si. Due to the very high hardness of most PLM alloys a good load-carrying capacity is given for thin layer coatings for improving wear resistance of other requirements.
Coating techniques may be High Velocity Flame Spraying, Plasma Spraying or Cold Gas Spraying. Other techniques such like Physical / Chemical Vapor Deposition (PVD / CVD) or electrolytic deposition of chromium, nickel, silver or gold have been applied successfully. In addition, Si free alloys can by coated by anodizing, hard anodizing or Plasma-Electrolytic-Oxidation (PEO). PEO-coatings exhibit a hardness in excess of 1.500 HV0,02.
Joining technologies such like friction welding, friction stir welding and/or diffusion press welding can be applied to join these materials or to manufacture complex components. Furthermore, joining offers the possibility to make use of these high value materials only in those sections of a component where required and thus saving costs on purchasing. For some PLM alloys MIG/TIG welding is applicable. When considering also mechanical state-of-the-art joining technologies all conditions are in place to manufacture complicated components and complex structures out of these high performance aluminum alloys.