Impact Innovations demonstrates Ti6Al4V Cold Spray Additive Manufacturing

July 1, 2022

The turbojet aircraft engine fan shaft was deposited in about two hours at deposition rate of 2.7 kg/h (Courtesy Impact Innovations)
The turbojet aircraft engine fan shaft was deposited in about two hours at deposition rate of 2.7 kg/h (Courtesy Impact Innovations)

Impact Innovations, Rattenkirchen, Germany, has developed a Cold Spray Additive Manufacturing method for Ti6Al4V which is said to exceed the requirements of ASTM F3001, ISO 5832-3 and AMS 4930. This alloy is of particular use in marine and defence applications, for manufacturing aerospace structural parts, gas turbine components and biomedical implants and prostheses.

Up to now, Ti6Al4V was a challenging material for use in Cold Spray Additive Manufacturing, due to its high critical velocity, which must be overcome during the deposition process and resulted in porosities in the cold spray deposits of 3% and higher. By using a combination of cold spray hardware, process parameters and post-process procedure, Impact Innovations’ recently developed Cold Spray Additive Manufacturing process achieved porosity levels < 0.5%.

Cold Spray Additive Manufacturing technology is said to be particularly attractive for the manufacturing of large parts, which can be challenging for other Additive Manufacturing processes due to equipment size limitations or the need for a protective atmosphere, especially when depositing reactive materials such as Ti6Al4V.

In contrast to other Additive Manufacturing technologies, powder particles are not melted during the Cold Spray process; the bonding, instead, occurs due to plastic deformation. Since Cold Spray does not require high temperatures, it enables the manufacture of large components without the necessity for any protective atmosphere, with almost no dimensional limitation and without creating any thermal residual stresses. For Ti6Al4V, the material efficiency from powder to deposit is reported to be over 98%.

Impact Innovations demonstrated its Cold Spray Additive Manufacturing process by building a Ti6Al4V freestanding turbojet aircraft engine fan shaft which measures 380 mm long and has a diameter of 223 mm at its widest point. It was built in about two hours, at deposition rate of 2.7 kg/h, and the net weight of the fan shaft after final machining is 3.2 kg.

The fan shaft was deposited onto a pre-machined Al alloy mandrel, which was chemically dissolved after the build. The fan shaft demonstrator underwent further post-treatment processes to achieve desired mechanical properties, followed by turning to achieve the final outer dimension and the creation of additional features via conventional subtractive processes.

In addition to Additive Manufacturing with its Cold Spray process, Impact Innovations uses the technology to add wear protection coatings to components such as brake discs. In tests, the cold gas sprayed composite coating of a cast iron brake disc showed a 95% reduction in wear.

The technology is also applied to cookware, coating aluminium pans with a thin layer of ferritic steel to enable their use on induction stoves. This removes the need for brazed steel induction plates, thermal coatings or pressed perforated plates used currently to provide the necessary ferromagnetic base. With an effective coating of under 1 mm, there is hardly any change in weight to the aluminium pan.

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • Metal powders in Additive Manufacturing: An exploration of sustainable production, usage and recycling
  • Inside Wayland Additive: How innovation in electron beam PBF is opening new markets for AM
  • An end-to-end production case study: Leveraging data-driven machine learning and autonomous process control in AM
  • Consolidation, competition, and the cost of certification: Insight from New York’s AM Strategies 2024
  • Scandium’s impact on the Additive Manufacturing of aluminium alloys
  • AM for medical implants: An analysis of the impact of powder reuse in Powder Bed Fusion

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Discover our magazine archive…

The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

Browse the archive

Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
  • Heat treatment & sintering
  • HIP systems & services
  • Pre- & post-processing technology
  • Powders, powder production and analysis
  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
View online
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap