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Research Finds that Adding Copper Strengthens 3D Printed Titanium

Metal News - Published on Fri, 06 Dec 2019

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Successful trials of titanium-copper alloys for 3D printing could kick start a new range of high-performance alloys for medical device and aerospace applications. Current titanium alloys used in additive manufacturing often cool and bond together in column-shaped crystals during the 3D printing process, making them prone to cracking or distortion. And unlike aluminium or other commonly used metals, there is no commercial grain refiner for titanium that manufacturers can use to effectively refine the microstructure to avoid these issues. But now a new titanium alloy with copper appears to have solved this problem.

Professor Mark Easton from RMIT University’s School of Engineering said their titanium copper alloy printed with exceptional properties without any special process control or additional treatment. They said “Of particular note was its fully equiaxed grain structure: this means the crystal grains had grown equally in all directions to form a strong bond, instead of in columns, which can lead to weak points liable to cracking. Alloys with this microstructure can withstand much higher forces and will be much less likely to have defects, such as cracking or distortion, during manufacture.”

The collaborative project involved leading researchers in the area of alloy composition and grain microstructure from RMIT University, CSIRO, the University of Queensland and the Ohio State University.

The work was part of a project funded by the Australian Research Council. The study ‘Additive manufacturing of ultrafine-grained high-strength titanium alloys’ is published in Nature with DOI 10.1038/s41586-019-1783-1

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Fri, 06 Dec 2019
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