Boeing and titomic cooperate to promote the application of titanium in 3D printing
On January 7, Boeing, an aerospace manufacturer, has cooperated with titomic, a Melbourne company with titomic kinetic fusion (TKF) 3D printing process, to further promote additive manufacturing in the space field.
The two companies will jointly promote the application of sustainable titanium powder in 3D printing of space system components. Titomic recently received a US $2325000 modern manufacturing program grant from the Australian government to use local titanium resources to develop and commercialize components of spacecraft and satellites.
"Under the agreement, Boeing will provide design and engineering expertise to enable titomic to demonstrate its cutting-edge kinetic fusion additive manufacturing technology in the production of space components," explained Watson, director of Aerospace Engineering and production of Boeing defense in Australia
Titomic's TKF process is a form of cold spray additive manufacturing. This method involves spraying fine metal powder onto the solid substrate below, just like paint on a graffiti wall. The substrate can be a construction platform or an existing metal part.
The technology is named cold spraying because it does not rely on laser or any other heat source, but uses kinetic energy. The metal powder is sprayed out by high-speed compressed air flow, so that the material has enough energy to deform and combine with the solid parts below to form additional layers.
TKF is a high-voltage technology with its proprietary characteristics. This qualifies the process for high-performance applications in aerospace and defense industries, where the company is a mature operator and registered research institution.
In 2021, titomic signed a cooperation agreement with machine tool manufacturer repkon to jointly establish a new 3D printing production plant focusing on national defense in Australia. The factory will use the company's additive manufacturing technology to manufacture the weapon barrel system designed by repkon.
Recently, the company also expanded its business in Europe by acquiring dycomet Europe, a cold spray technology company in the Netherlands. In addition to providing a new base in Europe, the deal also provides titomic with a direct source of revenue because dycomet Europe brings a healthy pipeline of customer orders across the continent.
Sustainable titanium alloy 3D printing for space
Titanium has become one of the most commonly used materials in the aerospace field because of its high strength to weight ratio and excellent corrosion resistance. More and more titanium is used in the field of military and rocket structures, such as the black hawk-22, and a large number of pressure vessels.
According to Boeing and titomic, titanium is easily available in Australia and is more environmentally sustainable than other similar alternatives. The use of this metal also helps to achieve significant savings in time and cost by eliminating the need for large quantities of raw mineral processing.
"This cooperation will prove that the use of sustainable titanium additive manufacturing technology or large-scale 3D printing technology can produce highly elastic and lightweight components, which are widely used in the whole space field," Watson said
This cooperation is also expected to make titomic a leading supplier in the field of space manufacturing in Australia. The CEO of titomic said that the two companies will redefine the production process of spacecraft and parts, and finally enhance the global competitiveness of Australian additive manufacturing of aviation parts.