Titomic, an Australian additive manufacturing company, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Shaanxi Lasting Titanium Industry Co. Ltd, the largest manufacturer and exporter of titanium powder in China, to accelerate Titomic Kinetic Fusion (TKF).
The TKF process involves a titanium cold-spray technique developed by the Australian Government’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). This method uses a supersonic gas jet to fire particles at high speed which fuse to a surface on impact. This enables dissimilar metals to combine, forming a complete component.
“This MoU will provide [an] exclusive supply of large volumes of price point titanium powder for use in Titomic’s TKF systems to create new commercial opportunities for titanium in traditional industries in a more efficient and sustainable way for industrial scale manufacturing,” explained Jeff Lang, the Managing Director at Titomic.
Accelerating the Titomic Kinetic Fusion process
Shaanxi Lasting Titanium Industry, commonly known as Lasting Titanium, has been supplying metal powders for additive manufacturing for the automotive, aerospace, defense, and medical industries for 20 years. The company is also involved in research into rare metal production, smelting, forging, rolling, finishing, physical and chemical analyses, and non-destructive testing.
Within the new partnership with Titomic, Lasting Titanium will enable the cooperative development of new low-cost commercially pure titanium powders for the TKF process – which uses both spherical and irregular morphology metal powders.
The versatility of TKF additive manufacturing process intends to expand production opportunity for Titomic in industries such as building, marine automotive and oil & gas where the application of titanium was previously economically unviable.
Titomic and the defense sector
Earlier this year, Titomic signed a MoU with the TAUV, a company applying additive manufacturing to applications including smarter armor for defense, law enforcement and civil industry. This $1.8 million partnership will allow the companies to manufacture Unmanned Armed Vehicles (UAV), soldier systems, and soldier sensors, using 3D printing technology.
As a result, a prototype 3D printed ruggedised soldier-enabled UAV created with Titomic’s technology was created and shortlisted for the Land Forces 2018 Industry Innovation Awards, an international defense exposition held in Adelaide.
Prior to this, Titomic signed a MoU with shipbuilding company Fincantieri Australia, to develop its TKF technology. Through the Material Science Testing agreement, Titomic is currently performing kinetic fusion 3D printability tests on an alloy specified by Fincantieri. Lang added:
“This is the first step towards manufacturing large marine parts on our metal 3D printers of limitless scale.”
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Featured image shows the 9 x 3 x1.5-meterr Titomic Kinetic Fusion 3D printer. Photo via Titomic.