Australian metal additive manufacturing company Titomic has signed the new Additively Manufactured Titanium Complex Structures Project with the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC).

The $2.6m project will help to standardise the company’s Titomic Kinetic Fusion (TKF), the next-generation digital manufacturing process of titanium and titanium alloy complex shaped structures.

The IMCRC programme has been designed to create new industry certification standards for the manufacturing process, allowing it to be used for manufacturing aerospace structures.

The Titomic-led project will also help continue the already approved processes for repairs on military aircraft such as the B-1 bomber, F/A-18 fighter, and Black Hawk and Sea Hawk helicopters.

Titomic managing director and project industry leader Jeff Lang said: “The aerospace and defence industries are seeking new additive manufacturing capabilities for industrial-scale titanium alloy structures to improve upon time-consuming, wasteful traditional subtractive manufacturing processes.

“This new technology not only transforms additive manufacturing processes but provides Australia with the opportunity to capitalise on the global demand for titanium.”

“Titomic, as the global leader of industrial-scale metal additive manufacturing, will utilise this IMCRC project to develop Australian export capability for the supply of TKF systems and consumables to meet the demand of the aerospace and defence industries.”

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IMCRC, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the RMIT University will operate as project partners with Titomic.

All the project partners will contribute a total of $2.6m in funding and investment, with Titomic and IMCRC each contributing $0.47m in cash over the project period of two years.

IMCRC chief executive officer and managing director David Chuter said: “With metal additive manufacturing on the cusp of large-scale industrialisation, this research project explores titanium and its enhanced performance properties as an alternative for sustainable manufacturing across multiple industry sectors.

“When proven, this new technology not transforms additive manufacturing processes but provides Australia with the opportunity to capitalise on the global demand for titanium utilising our significant reserves of titanium ore.”