Ecor International and Il Sentiero International Campus are partners of the AMALIA project (Additive Manufacturing of Metallic Auxetic Structures and Materials for Lightweight Armour).
The AMALIA project was launched by the European Defence Agency (EDA) on 20 October, with the aim of launching new advances in metal materials for ballistic steels. It is funded by seven EDA member states (Italy, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, Slovenia), led by RINA Consulting – Materials Development Centre.
It aims to improve the performance of ballistic protections in passive soldier protection systems, using auxetic structures, which have the characteristic of stiffening when subjected to compression. Using specific alloys developed for ballistic applications, this material can be functionalized for additive manufacturing process.
In response to an impact, auxetic materials have the advantage of being denser in the impact zone and allow greater energy absorption, offering greater protection (source: EDA Project launch statement).
AMALIA is structured as follows: an initial design phase of the specific materials and structures, followed by the design of the 3D printing processes and their subsequent optimizations, a step of analysis of properties and performance and finally design and development of prototypes and their validation.
The overall objective is to define new systems whose ballistic properties will be tested and optimize the parameters and flows of the process steps for the production of real structures.
Specifically, Ecor International and Il Sentiero International Campus will develop the process of 3D printing of innovative metal powders for auxetic structures consisting of the development of the process and the product as auxetic structures.
“An innovative project, for the challenge it poses on the development of new materials and what can be built using them. Such “competitions” can only be addressed with transversal skills of multiple partners, as in this case” – says Domenico Stocchi, Research and Innovation Director of Ecor International and Il Sentiero International Campus.
He continues: “EDA supports this collaborative project in which the expertise of several member countries is shared by fostering a European networking of research and development.
The research is contextualized in a line of research in which our group has acquired very specific and in-depth skills. Advanced manufacturing processes such as 3D printing, Advanced materials, hybrid materials, are topics that we are studying, developing and validating in a strategy that aims to be actively present in the European and national context of industrial research and innovation. This approach also allows us to transfer innovative elements into our process/product systems“.