Earlier this week, Titomic signed a material testing agreement with Fincantieri Australia to further its TKF technology. This is a major project for Titomic who have secured a prestigious deal with one of the largest ship manufacturers in the world. Both companies have, so far, signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The project will judge the attributes of the Titomic Kinetic Fusion (TKF) technology with ship-building alloys.
The testing will be a major step towards confirming whether the resultant alloys meet the International Standards of ASTM. Titomic has the exclusive right to make use of CSIRO’s patented metal AM process. The TKF process is very unique, even in the realm of the odder metal manufacturing techniques. It requires the application of cold-gas via dynamic spraying of titanium or titanium alloy particles onto a scaffold. This is how the printing creates load-bearing structures.
Titomic has developed one of the largest metal additive manufacturing systems in the world (they claim it to be the largest). Their printer ranges out to about 9m x 3m x 1.5m. Fincantieri’s material testing agreement involves a number of attributes, like for example hardness, strength, and porosity. They will also test the parts using a chemistry analysis.
The Titomic Kinetic Fusion Process
The process has a lot of advantages. It allows for the Fusion of dissimilar metals for large seamless structures with enhanced engineering properties. Because of its use of cold-gas dynamic spraying, the printer has no need for welding. Consequently, this makes it suitable for a number of environments where heat would be detrimental or unsustainable. It also has a pretty good print rate along with a materials saving of 80% higher than traditional manufacturing, reportedly.
The material testing agreement will truly kick off in Melbourne, putting the process through rigorous trials. While the tests are underway, Fincantieri appears to be very optimistic about the prospect of metal printing for marine vessels.
“Titomic’s technology combined with Fincantieri’s technology transfer program to Australia creates the potential to return Australia’s capability in mechanical componentry,” said Sean Costello, Director at Fincantieri Australia. “Our aim is to return high-value jobs to Australia, reduce costs and become sovereign as a shipbuilding nation.”
Featured image courtesy of Titomic.