Titanium and its alloys have, as of today, the highest mechanical strength to density ratio. In the recent years, these materials have been more and more used for industrial and commercial purposes, nevertheless, if compared to steel, the annual titanium production is still rather low and it has been mostly used in five sectors: the offshore industry, the chemical industry, the aerospace and automotive industries, the medical devices and implants, and the luxury goods.
This application areas are directly linked with the specific characteristics of titanium: it has a very high strength to density ratio, an excellent corrosion resistance against salt water and several chemical agents, a high biocompatibility and it is aesthetically pleasing.
The high cost of raw materials and processes is the main reason for which titanium application is limited to those sectors where the specific properties of titanium and titanium alloys are so beneficial that higher prices can be tolerated.
Against this background, the MIM process appears to be ideal for the processing of titanium and its alloys, as typical advantages are high material utilization (in terms of yield) and low production costs in large-quantity production.
Another fact that limits the use of titanium is the high machining cost, due to the expensive tools and the low processing speed. Therefore, the typical structure of titanium items is rather simple and not optimized according to the component’s function.
On the contrary, even high complex components can be manufactured by MIM without necessarily increasing costs, with the possibility to introduce titanium in other sectors of application.
Silcon Plastic Ltd, thanks to a project developed in cooperation with University of Trento, can process Ti-6Al-4V alloy by MIM obtaining excellent mechanical properties.
The table below contains the properties of Ti6-Al4V alloy processed by MIM in the facilities of Silcon Plastic Ltd.
|O [wt%]||C [wt%]||N [wt%]||[MPa]||[MPa]||[GPa]||ɛf[%]|