How Titanium Powders Are Used in Additive Manufacturing

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Ti powders are the key component for the fabrication of titanium alloys and metal matrix composites in a variety of industrial applications. They are also a major part of the additive manufacturing (AM) market.

titanium powders produce high-quality, near net shape parts that are dimensionally stable, have uniform inner structures and can be produced without traditional machining. These advantages enable components to be fabricated with minimal material loss and at a lower cost than those created by conventional methods.

Passivation and Safety

While titanium is relatively inert in air at room temperature, a layer of native oxide is formed on the surface that prevents rapid oxidation and corrosion. However, the native oxide may be quickly stripped away when the powder is exposed to high temperatures. This can result in an ignition event, despite the presence of the oxide layer, if the minimum ignition temperature or spark energy necessary for ignition is exceeded.

Ignition of fine powders in the air is a complex process that involves a combination of aspiration, conveyed and stagnant reactions. Aspiration and conveyed reactions occur when the fine powder collects on a vertical or horizontal surface and ignites as it is inhaled.

The critical velocities that are necessary to deposit dense coatings on the titanium feedstock particles used in this study have been found to be much lower than reported in the literature for spherical titanium powders. In fact, the highest average velocity reached is 530 m/s, which is more than 50% lower than the values required for spherical titanium powders studied by other researchers.