Australian metal additive manufacturing company Titomic Limited is pleased to announce its signing of the $2.6 million Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (“IMCRC”) program Additively Manufactured Titanium Complex Structures Project (“Project”). The project will standardise Titomic Kinetic Fusion™, with Titomic being the industry partner of the Project.
The program will focus on enhancing Titomic Kinetic Fusion™ as a transformational technology for the highest standards of aerospace and defence industries as outlined by The Metallic Materials Properties Development and Standardization (MMPDS), a widely accepted source for metallic material and recognised by the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), United States’ Department of Defense (DoD), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Currently, the AM metal 3D printing industries which use laser and electron beam melting processes have significant limitations due to the melting of the metal causing layering inclusions, evaporation of some alloys, and thermal distortion within the parts meaning they are unable to be certified for the production of aerospace structures components. This Titomic-led IMCRC program will create new industry certification standards for Titomic’s Kinetic Fusion™ process allowing it to be used for producing aerospace structures in continuation of the already approved processes for repairs on aircraft such as the B-1 bomber, F/A-18 Fighter and Black Hawk and Sea Hawk helicopters.
Successfully creating new aerospace standards for the TKF process will bolster Titomic’s market position as a global leader in industrial scale metal additive manufacturing, resulting in significant commercial opportunities for Titomic Kinetic Fusion™ as the next-generation digital manufacturing process of titanium and titanium alloy complex shaped structures.
The evidence and enhancements resulting from this research, in addition to benefitting Titomic, will allow Australia to be at the leading edge of a transformational shift of the global metals industry, utilising Australian technology and resources.
Project partners IMCRC, CSIRO and RMIT University with Titomic will contribute $2.6 million in funding and in-kind investment, with Titomic and IMCRC each contributing $0.47 million in cash over the two-year project period.
As part of the Project, improvements to CSIRO’s Background IP and the Project IP will be Utilised by Titomic in accordance with the terms of the Licence Agreement between CSIRO and Titomic. The technology advancement will provide a new industry standard for titanium and titanium alloy, complex shaped structures manufactured using Titomic Kinetic Fusion™.
Titomic Managing Director and project Industry Leader Mr Jeff Lang commented:
“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. 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.”
Mr David Chuter, CEO and Managing Director of the IMCRC, stated:
“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. 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.”
Dr Leon Prentice, Metal Industries Program Director of CSIRO Manufacturing, commented:
“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. 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.”
Professor Ivan Cole of RMIT University, stated:
“RMIT is proud to join with our partners on this exciting project to develop reliable and rapidly fabricated additive components for aerospace and defence industries. Our researchers will help to ensure reliable design of parts through numerical analysis of their stresses and mechanical properties, as well as microstructural studies of completed parts.”