Titomic Limited, an Australia-based metal AM company, has signed a $2.6 million deal with the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC), CSIRO and RMIT University to launch the Additively Manufactured Titanium Complex Structures Project. The project is aimed at establishing standards for the company’s Titomic Kinetic Fusion (TKF) technology.
More precisely, the program will be focused on advancing Titomic’s titanium AM process—which boasts faster print speeds than DED—so that it meets the stringent standards set out by the aerospace and defense industries. The company will work with partners to achieve standards set in the Metallic Materials Properties Development and Standardization (MMPDS), a resource for metallic materials recognized by the U.S. FAA, the DoD and NASA.
“The aerospace and defence industries are seeking new additive manufacturing capabilities for industrial-scale titanium alloy structures to improve upon time consuming, wasteful traditional subtractive manufacturing processes,” commented Jeff Lang, Titomic Managing Director and project Industry Leader. “Titomic, as the global leader of industrial scale metal additive manufacturing, will utilise this IMCRC Project to develop Australian export capability for the supply of TKF systems and consumables to meet the demand of the aerospace and defence industries.”
Metal additive manufacturing—and especially laser and EBM processes—have remained somewhat limited in the aerospace and defense industries because they do not adhere to certification standards. This is the result of issues such as layering inclusions, alloy evaporation and thermal distortion, all of which can have compromising effects on printed parts.
The IMCRC project will aim to overcome these challenges and set standards specifically for the Titomic Kinetic Fusion process. One of the goal’s of the initiative is to enhance TKF for the production of aerospace structures and replacement parts for B-1 bomber and F/A-18 Fighter aircraft and Black Hawk and Seak Hawk helicopters, among others.
Titomic hopes that by establishing aerospace standards for its titanium AM technology, its position in the metal AM market will rise, bringing it additional commercial opportunities from around the globe. On a broader scale, the advancement of Titomic’s AM process might also further bolster Australia’s position in the metals and technology industries.
“With metal additive manufacturing on the cusp of large scale industrialisation, this research project explores Titanium and its enhanced performance properties as an alternative for sustainable manufacturing across multiple industry sectors,” said David Chuter, CEO and Managing Director of the IMCRC. “When proven, this new technology not transforms additive manufacturing processes but provides Australia the opportunity to capitalise on the global demand for Titanium utilising our significant reserves of Titanium ore.”
As part of the collaboration, IMCRC, CSIRO, Titomic and RMIT University will fund the two-year project, with IMCRC and Titomic each providing $0.47 million in cash. Over the course of the two-year period, Titomic will also leverage improvements to CSIRO’s Background IP and Project IP, in accordance with the Licence Agreement signed between the two parties.
“CSIRO is helping industry make the transition to advanced manufacturing, using innovative materials, systems, and processes to deliver products that meet the needs of their customers,” added Dr. Leon Prentice, Metal Industries Program Director of CSIRO Manufacturing. “This helps companies like Titomic create a sustainable competitive advantage, support productivity gains, and help capture emerging opportunities in local and global markets. We are pleased to deepen our long-term relationship with Titomic and RMIT, and look forward to profound impact from this project’s outcomes.”