Wednesday, April 17, 2024
HomeDigit News3D printed material that is stronger than aerospace alloy

3D printed material that is stronger than aerospace alloy

Researchers at the Royal Melbourne University of Technology (RMIT) have used a 3D printer to print hollow lattice structures using titanium alloy. According to their idea, such material will find application in the aerospace industry and even in medicine, providing employees of medical institutions with the opportunity to create bone implants. 

3d printing hollow material

The authors of the development borrowed the idea from nature, since the new material resembles in structure the hollow stems of water lilies and coral pipes. To reduce stress on the structure at the joints, the researchers placed a second layer on top of it, adding a thin X-section. This allowed the load to be evenly distributed over the entire surface.

This shape is made using a laser 3D printer with powder coating. The researchers tested the resulting structure and found that it was 50% stronger than the cast WE54 magnesium alloy used in the aerospace industry.

The size of the finished material can vary from a few millimeters to several meters, and its heat resistance reaches 350 °C, but this figure can be increased to 600 °C if a more heat-resistant titanium alloy is used.

3d printing hollow materialOn the left is a model with one grille, on the right – with two. Red dots indicate areas with too high load

The technology may find application in aerospace and for the production of bone implants. Over time, the tools for developing such a material will become more accessible and the printing process will speed up, allowing this method of 3D printing to be used on an industrial scale.

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