Engineers from the University of Monash developed a new titanium alloy for a 3D seal with a unique microstructure that makes it super-strength. It is not only more reliable than most other forms of titanium, but also has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of all printed metals.
Titan alloys are already valued in industry because of their strength and relatively light weight, which makes them ideal material for aircraft and other vehicles, but the materials can be improved and the new alloy can not only boast of greater strength, but also because of 3D seals, it is much easier to shape.
Engineers used conventional 3D printing equipment, where the powder metal layer is melted with a laser, melting it into a solid body layer by layer. In this case, powdery metal is a commonly used beta-tytan alloy. The material is then heat-treated at between 480 and 520 °C. As a result, scientists create a microstructure that gives the alloy incredible strength.
During the processing process, titanium particles are deposited into nanosernes, which merge into nanoduplicate structures, and the developers have noted that this is the first titanium alloy with such a structure, and this makes it much stronger than usual.
During the tests, scientists found that the strength of the new titanium alloy at tensile and tensile strength is more than 1,600 MPa. For the record, most commercial titanium alloys have a strength of 1,000 MPa. According to the authors, this is also the highest specific strength for any other metal alloy printed on 3D printer.