A new alloy developed by engineers at RMIT University, CSIRO, the University of Queensland and Ohio State University could make possible higher performance titanium materials suitable for additive manufacturing.
Although titanium alloys are often at risk of cracking or distortion due to the column-shaped crystals formed when used in 3D printing, the engineers’ titanium-copper alloy addresses this problem without applying further treatment to the metal.
“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,” said RMIT’s Professor Mark Easton.
“Alloys with this microstructure can withstand much higher forces and will be much less likely to have defects.”
The alloy could have biomedical and aerospace applications and allow manufacturers to produce more complex parts.