Titanium powder is required for 3D printing of titanium alloy parts, but this important raw material has long relied on imports. The reporter learned last week that the research team of Nanjing University of Technology has cooperated with Nanjing Economic and Technological Development Zone and Zhongke Haochen Laser Technology Co., Ltd. to set up a new research and development institution “Institute for the Production of Powder Materials”. The first one has China’s independent knowledge. Low-cost production equipment for titanium alloy powder with property rights is expected to be installed and commissioned at the end of September. After large-scale production, the price of titanium powder is expected to fall by half.
Prof. Chang Hui, Executive Dean of the Institute and Associate Dean of School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Technology, said that “additive manufacturing” is actually the scientific name of 3D printing. Titanium has the characteristics of light texture and good flexibility, which is important in the current manufacturing field. The structural metal naturally becomes an important raw material for 3D printing. However, at present, the stability and consistency of the domestic titanium powder are poor, which leads to large fluctuations in the performance of the printed parts, which affects the batch application of the 3D printed titanium alloy components in important projects.
Titanium alloy is an important structural material in the aerospace industry. Chang Hui said that a large part of the titanium alloy powder used in domestic aerospace additive manufacturing technology needs to be imported from abroad, and more than 80% of the equipment for producing and preparing titanium alloy powder is also Returned from abroad. At present, the research team's technical team is working hard to achieve innovation and breakthrough in titanium alloy powder preparation technology and equipment. "How to ensure the uniform composition, quality stability and consistency of titanium alloy powder is the core problem to be solved." Chang Hui said.
At present, they have completed a series of preliminary verification and other work. At the end of September, the first domestic titanium powder manufacturing equipment that is completely designed and independently developed by China will be in place.
After the large-scale production, the price of titanium powder is expected to drop by about half compared with the present. Changhui said that after the cost of titanium powder is reduced, it can be applied to daily life. "For example, the vascular stent, the titanium stent made of titanium alloy has good affinity and corrosion resistance, and is more ideal than the steel stent. After the cost is reduced, more people can afford it."