Rapid Cooling of 3D Printed Titanium Leads to Stronger Alloys
(Science World Report) Researchers at the University of Rostock in Germany reveal a new technique to produce high strength metallic alloys, at a lower cost using less energy with 3D printing methods. It’s expected that this breakthrough will profoundly change how we produce components used in a diverse range of applications; including transport and medical devices.
The research, which appears in the latest issue of the open access journal Materials Today, reports on the first Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) system with an integrated gas quenching mechanism, capable of alternating the phase compositions and retaining the smallest grain features inside a structured metallic alloy. Click here to read the scientific findings from authors Faming Zhang, Michael Reich, Olaf Kessler, and Eberhard Burkel.
To demonstrate the utility of the system, Grade 5 Titanium (Ti-6Al-4V) – known as the “workhorse” of the titanium industry – was produced at different cooling rates. The most-rapidly cooled alloy was found to be up to 12% harder than the naturally-cooled alloy, and with an improved ductility up to 34±3%. Ti-6Al-4V is the most common titanium alloy in use worldwide, with applications in the aerospace, biomedical and marine industries.
In their article the researchers explain, “This high-ductile alloy offers unprecedented opportunities for the easy manufacturing of complex shapes for biomedical and new engineering applications.”