Few can cite ready-made examples of technology-driven, small-scale Australian manufacturing. However, in Victoria you will find the seeds of this bright future within the 3D metal printing industry.
Titomic is an advanced manufacturing specialist with operations currently based in Notting Hill Victoria and plans for a second facility in Tonsley, South Australia. The Company has co-developed a revolutionary technology with the CSIRO, known as the Titomic Kintetic Fusion (TKF) process.
The TKF process sprays material powders such as titanium alloys, at supersonic speed onto a surface. The powder then bonds by kinetic fusion creating an extremely strong metallic product with mechanical properties that can exceed standard wrought metals.
It is estimated that the TKF material is approximately 34% stronger than stock titanium in compressive yield strength.
The process can be applied to create tubular or shaped load bearing structures and will conform to nearly any shape.
The TKF process promises to deliver not only advanced metal manufacturing but also significant cost savings. The process can create products in a variety of shapes, removing the need for folding, bending or welding metals, which is often expensive, time consuming and energy intensive.
Titomic’s revolutionary technology is comparable to 3D printing, however the process is much quicker, cheaper and without the size build size limitations and restrictions when melting metals.
As TKF is a cold kinetic fusion process, it can fuse dissimilar metal in a seamless process and is capable of delivering specialty metallic parts up to 10 to 100 times faster than a conventional 3D printer – and the raw materials required are approximately one-fifth to one-tenth cheaper than 3D printer powders.
“Titomic owns some truly world-leading technology,” Titomic technical director Jeff Lang said.
“To best describe Titomic’s capabilities, we have effectively created a super-fast 3D printer that works with some of the strongest metal alloys and is cheap and efficient to operate.
“The potential for this technology is extensive, with a broad range of different manufacturing and construction industries which could benefit from our technology. For example, we see application in areas as diverse as oil and gas, mining, aerospace, marine, automotive, medical, sporting and military businesses.
“To give you an example of just how adaptive our technology is, we have created a very light and strong bicycle at much faster speeds and cheaper than what it would cost to have a professional welder assemble the frame.
“Additionally, Titomic is progressing its activities with several aeropsace, military, and sporting goods companies.
Together, we are looking at the production of super lightweight and very strong titanium parts that cannot be produced efficiently and cost effectively with traditional methods,” Lang said.
Titomic continues to develop its industry engagement with a specific interest from major international manufacturing companies.
The South Australian Government has also recognised these potential benefits, including the company as a strategic asset for growing the State’s economy with plans well underway for the Titomic facility in the Tonsley precinct.
“The future looks really bright for Titomic. We are experiencing increased global interest on a daily basis and are in a position to upscale our production as required,” Lang said.
“There has been a lot of talk about the competitiveness of Australian manufacturing and while conventional heavy-labour operations seem to be in decline, Titomic is an example of a company delivering success through costconscious, technology-based manufacturing,” he said.