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Manufacture of titanium wire from low-cost particulates.

Titanium alloy (Ti) wire is a major feedstock for wire additive manufacturing (wire-AM) and for making high quality Ti powder for use in powder-based additive manufacturing.

CSIRO developing wire from waste for additive manufacturing 003

[Music plays and an image appears of strands of titanium wire and text appears: We’ve developed a novel process for turning titanium alloy waste into high-value titanium wire for 3D printing]

[Image changes to show an Australian map and a manufacturing facility can be seen faintly in the background and text appears on the map: It’s an Australian first]

[Image changes to show a large 3-D printed metal object and text appears: The wire can be used for wire additive manufacturing…]

[Image changes to show a white powder pouring down onto a dark surface and text appears: …or to produce powders that can be used for making complex 3D printed parts]

[Image changes to show hands holding a 3-D metal printed device in front of the chest and text appears: …suitable for aerospace, biomedical and automotive]

[Image changes to show wire moving through a machine and text appears: Our wire will be benchmarked against what is produced overseas…]

[Image changes to show a view looking down on a pile of waste product and text appears: … but it will be much cheaper because it is made from waste product]

[Image changes to show copper wire on a stand gradually rotating in a clockwise direction and text appears: We’ve proven our process, producing copper wire from copper rod…]

[Image changes to show a male operating a machine at the end of a manufacturing process and a roll of copper wire can be seen moving through the process and text appears: … and now we’re transitioning to make pre-commercial amounts of titanium wire at pilot scale]

[Image changes to show a digital model of the extrusion process and text appears: We’re using computational modelling to optimise our patented extrusion process]

[Images move through of two males looking at the manufacturing process, and then a close view of the manufacturing process and text appears: It’s another example of CSIRO growing an Australian sovereign capability…]

[Image changes to show a close view of the copper wire rotating on a large reel and then the image changes to show a facing view of the copper wire rotating and text appears: … and boosting Australia’s global competitiveness]

[Image changes to show the CSIRO and the SIEF logos on a white screen and text appears: This research is supported by the Science and Industry Endowment Fund]

[Music plays and image changes to show the CSIRO logo and text: CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency]

We're developing a low-cost titanium wire from waste product, that is suitable for use in metal 3D printing.

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Technology

Our wire production process has been demonstrated at pilot plant scale for 5 to 12mm diameter product produced continuously up to 10m in length. ©  Nick Pitsas

  • Production of Ti wire/rod from any low-cost Ti particulates (powder, granules, pieces, particles, machining swarf), that is significantly cheaper than Ti wire/rod made from conventional processes. 
  • Patented modification of an existing rotary extrusion process to allow Ti wire from particulates.
  • Reduction in capital equipment, fewer process steps compared to ingot metallurgy-milled product route, Ti wire to grade, reduced waste and cost, higher productivity.
  • The wire production process has been demonstrated at pilot plant scale for 5 to 12mm diameter product produced continuously up to 10m in length.
  • The next stage in development is to demonstrate production of up to 100kg of 3mm diameter product per tooling change-over cycle.

Applications

  • There is a lucrative market for 2.5mm to 3mm Ti wire as feed for wire-AM.  
  • Markets include aerospace, biomedical, marine, automotive, construction and consumer goods. 

Intellectual property

We have a patent for continuous fabrication of wire from particulates. The patent provides broad process claims for continuous production of wire from powder-like materials.

The team

The team comprises materials engineers/scientists, and process modellers. The team is linked to the Lab22 Innovation Centre, Australia's premier metals additive manufacturing R&D centre located in Clayton, Victoria.

Could this technology provide you with a competitive edge?

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