Rapid Additive Manufacturing of Very Low Cost 3-Dimensional Titanium Alloy Components
The designers, manufacturers, and end users of metal components are increasingly turning to titanium (Ti) alloys, which can provide a substantial increase in performance. However, for most of these applications, the cost of Ti components is prohibitively high. The cost of Ti sponge powder is still a small portion (e.g. 5%) of the final Ti64 component cost. The predominant cause of the high cost is the downstream processing costs to make a final shape component. This Phase II program will accomplish a dramatic reduction in the cost of finished Ti alloy components by demonstrating a new innovative low cost rapid manufacturing process being developed MER that utilizes sponge as a feed and directly produces near net shape alloy componentry. MER will work with Timet as a sponge supplier and Boeing to deliver prototypes for Army helicopter applications. The goal of this program is the confirmation of a sponge single melt direct manufacturing process for net shape Ti-6-4 components at a selling price of<$10/lb. The MER low cost process will provide a major benefit to the Defense Logistics Agency. The expected high commercial demand for this low cost, high performance titanium product will benefit the manufacture of the lower volumes typically required for defense applications.
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Materials & Electrochemical Research (ME
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