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Recycled aircraft parts assessed for 3D printing

A 3D printing specialist in the UK is exploring the feasibility of using recycled metal from end-of-life aircraft parts in additive manufacturing (AM) processes.

AM is the industrial production name for 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing Solutions (AMS) has received funding from the UK Government’s innovation agency to investigate the potential for recycling parts into feedstock for metal AM. AMS will be using scrap aerospace parts and recycling them into powder which will then be tested and used to manufacture new parts.

The company quotes a 2021 estimate that 740 tonnes of non-ferrous metals (excluding aluminium) are available for recycling each year but only a fraction of that is ever recovered. The international AM powder market is expected to near EUR 1 billion this year with titanium accounting for around one-third of that market.


AMS ceo and founder of AMS Robert Higham, says: ‘We aspire to enable a vibrant and highly profitable UK source of feedstock and catalyst for material producing parts for our defence, space, aerospace, and automotive industries.

‘This project is the first step in providing valuable data as to the true possibilities of high value circular economy development.’

The project will end in November 2023.

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