The traditional manufacturing of products from titanium and its alloys is a complex technological task, which requires time and means. Scholars from South Ural State University developed a new technology of producing components from titanium alloys using additive technologies. The new technology will significantly save on further mechanical processing. The article on the research is published in the highly ranking journal Materials (Q1).
New Technology of Titanium Components Production
Nowadays titanium products are widely used in mechanical and aviation engineering due to their strength. However, traditional casting is most often used for the production of such components. The use of additive technologies seems to be a very promising field, as it will help to create products of complex geometric shapes from titanium and its alloys with subsequent relatively light mechanical processing.
“The production of components by casting is a very complex technological process. It must be produced in a controlled atmosphere (under vacuum or in a protective gas medium) to avoid the interaction of titanium melt with oxygen and air nitrogen. Further mechanical processing of such components requires specific conditions and equipment; therefore, it is notable for its high cost. The use of additive technology seems to be a very promising field, as it will help to create products of complex geometric shapes from titanium and its alloys with subsequent relatively light mechanical processing. This will significantly reduce the price of the finished products”, explains the project manager Marina Samodurova, Deputy Head of the International Laboratory of Mechanics, Laser Processes and Digital Production Technologies, Professor, Doctor of Sciences (Engineering).
The aim of the project of the South Ural State University scholars and the JSC “Kompozit” specialists is the development of a production technology of the components from titanium alloys using the combination of two additive technologies: SLM (Selective Laser Melting) and DMD (Direct Metal Deposition). The SUSU objective was to develop technology of creating structural elements from powder titanium alloys by DMD method on workpieces produced with the help of SLS processes.
Preserving Traditional Strength
As part of the work of the SUSU International Laboratory of Mechanics, Laser Processes and Digital Production Technologies the analysis of the structure and micro-hardness of the components from titanium alloys has been performed using high precision laboratory equipment.
“The chemical composition of various sections of components produced by laser cladding, the analysis of uniformity of chemical composition by the height of the component, as well as the composition of individual structural elements have been analysed. All the samples studied have a microstructure which is characteristic of the hardened state of two-phase titanium alloys, which means they have the necessary strength and hardness required from such products,” says Marina Samodurova.
Within the experiment, the process engineering solution on external thermal protection of the working chamber has been found. This minor modernization of the standard laser cladding unit FL-Clad-R-4 helps to prevent cracking of the parts after cooling. The scholars have developed the products with good strength parameters. The results of the experiment have shown that the components from titanium and its alloys using the additive technologies can be successfully used in mechanical and aviation engineering due to their high reliability and hardness.