New Zealand’s Titanium industry is growing, with world-class Titanium alloy powders and finished products now being made right here in New Zealand – and it’s more accessible than you may think.
Titanium (Ti) is the future of many applications currently filled by other metals. Its excellent combination of properties makes it ideal for mission-critical applications in challenging environments, with a distinct weight saving advantage.
Powder-metallurgy technologies allow for specifically designed alloys to meet the most demanding requirements. By harnessing powder compaction’s efficient material utilisation and Titanium’s specific properties your products can be made with less material and much better results.
The powders can be used in the wide variety of applications that make up the powder metallurgy fields, from specialist coatings right through additive manufacturing (3D printing) to solid forged high-strength alloy products.
Titanium Technologies NZ (TiTENZ) is eager to hear from any potential applications for Titanium alloy products, with a strong directive for New Zealand to benefit from value-added manufacturing here in New Zealand.
But don’t just think powder.
Recent scaled-up trials at SAFE’s forging plant in Drury have proven a process of extrusion from powder to solid 32mm diameter bar stock, and from powder into solid forged parts.
These two methods not only minimise waste of raw material, but also allow smaller batches of special alloys unavailable through normal sources to be created by the powder blending process.
In the forging process, just the right amount of Titanium powder of the desired alloy is compressed into a suitable near-net shape under very high pressure, then hot-forged in normal forging tooling to produce a full-density, full-strength part with the bare minimum of wasted material.
In the extrusion process, the compacted powder is hot-extruded to a desired shape and size. The extruded bar can then be used directly, or further forged into products such as specialised bolts, implants, sporting goods, marine and structural architecture, etc.
These technologies are bringing the reality of Titanium products within reach of many applications, as the near-net-shape forming process means large savings in raw material.
Benefits of Titanium include: lightweight (60% of weight of steel); highest strength to weight ratio, far greater corrosion resistance than stainless steel – means improved life-cycle costings, it is biocompatible, 40-60% greater strength retention than steels at elevated temperatures (400degC). low thermal and electric conductivity (25%-33% of steel), and it is non-ferrous and non-magnetic.
Benefits of the powder-forming process: near-net shape processing means far less wasted material, it is cost effective process at high volume quantities, and allows for special custom-made alloys for a specific special purpose.
To find out how these processes could work for your application contact Barry Robinson,
general manager at SAFE Ltd on (09) 294 8437, 0272 864 722 or email [email protected]