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AHTi develops titanium powder on Farsoon system

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Aerospace Hiwing Titanium Industrial Co. (AHTi) developed a new high-temperature titanium powder dubbed TA32 on Farsoon’s FS271M system.

Thanks to the robust, open Farsoon FS271M system, the material processing development cycles was greatly accelerated. The customer is able to use Farsoon’s additive system with maximum flexibility and capacity in the development of customized TA32 processing parameters with the advanced “parameter-editor” included in Farsoon’s software package. AHTi application engineers were able to carry out a series of sintering tests by controlling the laser energy density, in order to determine the best suited processing parameter for the application. Metallographic analysis of the TA32 sintered parts shows a fine crystal grain structure, no defects of cracks or holes. The mechanical properties of the parts are further tested, which shows excellent tensile strength, flexibility and plasticity, under high operation temperature of 500℃, 550℃ and 600℃.

With the rapid expansion of the civil aerospace industry in China, the demand for specialized, high-temperature titanium alloys has become a critical challenge for key component development such as aerospace engine and spacecrafts. In order to achieve optimized thrust – weight ratio, specialized titanium alloys are increasingly used in parts including engine compressor discs, blades, blisks, rotors, housing and intake pipes. Weight reduction and designated performance call for higher requirements for the operation temperature of titanium alloys; while other challenges in aerospace components development including complex structure, faster development iterations, have also kept challenging the established manufacturing process.

Metallographic analysis of the new titanium powder.
Metallographic analysis of the new titanium powder.

TA32 Titanium alloy, composed of Ti-5.5Al-3.5Sn-3Zr-1Mo-0.5Nb-0.7Ta-0.3Si, is a novel α-type high-temperature material developed in China. The TA32 material features an outstanding tolerance of operation temperature of up to 550 ℃, and short-term tolerance up to 600 ℃, with good comprehensive mechanical properties, such as tensile strength, fatigue resistance and creep, it is an ideal alternative material for steel or nickel-based superalloy components. With a solid background in titanium material and aerospace industry, AHTi had observed the emerging market for TA32, and metal 3D printing as an ideal advanced manufacturing solution for high-temperature applications.

After a systematic technical evaluation, AHTi established a partnership with Farsoon in 2018 by investing in Farsoon metal laser sintering systems in their facility for TA32 3D printing material engineering, process development, and rapid prototyping.

The TA32 titanium alloy production uses an advanced cold crucible vacuum induction melting and air atomization technology (VIGA-CC), to produce high-performance powder material with high efficiency and high yield of fine particle-sized powder.  Testing reveals that the TA32 powder demonstrates excellent material properties, such as high purity, high sphericity, high fluidity, and high bulk density. The physical properties of the material were also tested, featuring 36μm median particle size d50, the bulk density was 2.4g/cm3, and the Hall flow rate was 45s/50g. All of these characteristics demonstrates that the material is well suited for the metal 3D printing process.

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Adam Strömbergsson

Adam is a legal researcher and writer with a background in law and literature. Born in Montreal, Canada, he has spent the last decade in Ottawa, Canada, where he has worked in legislative affairs, law, and academia. Adam specializes in his pursuits, most recently in additive manufacturing. He is particularly interested in the coming international and national regulation of additive manufacturing. His past projects include a history of his alma mater, the University of Ottawa. He has also specialized in equity law and its relationship to judicial review. Adam’s current interest in additive manufacturing pairs with his knowledge of historical developments in higher education, copyright and intellectual property protections.

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