3D printing technology creates a new type of titanium alloy


International research teams, including the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia and the University of Sydney, have combined alloys and 3D printing processes to create a new titanium alloy that is strong but not brittle under tension. This breakthrough, published in the latest issue of Nature, brings hope for the development of a new class of more sustainable high-performance titanium alloys used in aerospace, biomedical, chemical engineering, space and energy technologies. The new titanium alloy consists of a mixture of two types of titanium crystals, called α- Titanium phase and β- Titanium phase, each type of titanium crystal corresponds to a specific atomic arrangement. Oxygen and iron are α- Titanium phase and β- The two most powerful stabilizers and enhancers of titanium phase are abundant and inexpensive. But researchers have found that two challenges hinder the development of resilient materials through traditional manufacturing processes α-β Titanium oxide iron alloy. One challenge is that oxygen can make titanium brittle; Another challenge is that adding iron may lead to serious metallurgical defects, forming large blocks β Titanium. The team used laser directed energy deposition to print their alloys from metal powders, a 3D printing process suitable for manufacturing large and complex parts. They combined the alloy design concept with 3D printing process design to determine a series of sturdy, ductile, and easy to print alloys. The key driving factor is the presence of oxygen and iron atoms α- Titanium phase and β- The unique distribution within and between titanium phases. Researchers α- A nanoscale oxygen gradient has been designed in the titanium phase, with a sturdy high oxygen segment and a ductile low oxygen segment, which can exert control over local atomic bonds and reduce the potential for embrittlement. The team stated that the attractive properties of these new alloys can be comparable to commercial alloys. Professor Simon Linger, Vice President of the University of Sydney, stated that this study provides a new titanium alloy system with extensive and adjustable mechanical properties, high manufacturability, and huge emission reduction potential, as well as insights into material design for similar systems. The researchers stated that the team incorporated the concept of circular economy into their design, creating hope for the production of new titanium alloys using industrial waste and low-grade materials. In addition, oxygen embrittlement is a significant metallurgical challenge not only for titanium, but also for other important metals such as zirconium, niobium, molybdenum, and their alloys. The new research may provide a template to alleviate these oxygen embrittlement issues through 3D printing and microstructure design. (New News Agency)

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