Powder manipulation technology

Powder manipulation of sponge Titanium/titanium alloys

CSIRO has developed a unique powder manipulation technology for sizing and shaping powder for Additive Manufacturing application.

The challenge

The challenge is to develop a low cost titanium powder feedstock for Additive Manufacturing processes.  Conventional titanium powder is manufacturired using a hydride de-hydride and gas atomisation process that is expensive and adds to the impurities levels of the final product. The CSIRO PM technology is a rapid low cost powder modification process that’s capable of sizing and shaping titanium/titanium alloy sponge continuously and directly.

Our response

Power Manipulation Technology.
CSIRO Scientists initially developed the technology to reduce the cost of titanium powder feedstock for Cold spray application but found the technology could be applied more broadly across the manufacturing industry including powder metallurgy and additive manufacturing (AM), thus increasing the affordability of 3D print metal parts. The PM Technology utilises high shear mill and is a single step process that can be designed for batch or continuous powder processing.

The results

Results demonstrate sponge titanium could be efficiently modified to manufacture a low cost titanium powder for AM application. The flowability and morphology of the powder produced was also transformed from coral-like shape to spheroidised particles with a size and distribution range suitable for a powder bed AM system, see Figure 1 & Figure 2.

Graph X axis indicating Particle size and Y axis indicating Weight pct. Two sections of the graph before and after, we see a dip in weight after Arcam and Cold spray

Figure 1. Particle size and distribution before and after powder manipulation showing more than 90% of the manipulated sponge was sized for AM application

Graph indicating sponge Titanium powder before and after power manipulation.

Figure 2 Morphology of sponge Titanium powder before and after powder manipulation.