With a density of 2.7 g/cm³, aluminium is classified as a light metal. It is highly suited to processing and is used, for example, in thin-walled components with complex geometries. Aluminium also displays good electrical conductivity. Due to its low strength, it is used above all in alloys; currently the most common alloy is AlSi10Mg. Typical alloying additions are silicon, magnesium, copper or manganese. In alloyed forms, aluminium is used to produce components with high strength and high dynamic loadability. The components are optimal for use in areas such as aerospace engineering and the automotive industry.
Thanks to their high strength and relatively low density, as well as excellent corrosion resistance, titanium components are found across a broad spectrum of applications. Titanium and its alloys have already been successfully put to use, for example, in the automotive industry and in aerospace engineering, since around 1950.
Components made from tool or stainless steels are known for great hardness with a high ductility. Through selective application of alloying components, the material properties can be precisely adjusted. This means that even corrosion-resistant steel alloys like 1.4404 (316L) can be treated using the SLM® process. Applications for corrosion-resistant alloys are found in medical technologies, the automotive industry as well as in aerospace engineering. Tool steel is used above all to produce tools and moulds, and its layered structure enables components to be fitted with integrated cooling canals.