Titomic Limited, Melbourne, Australia, has been granted a US patent for the metal Additive Manufacturing process it uses, known as Titomic Kinetic Fusion (TKF). The process involves the cold-gas dynamic spraying of titanium or titanium alloy particles onto a scaffold to produce a load-bearing structure.
The US patent, titled ‘A process for producing a titanium load-bearing structure’, is expected to provide the company with the foundation to expand its reach into the USA. Jeff Lang, Titomic CEO, commented, “This US application has been pending since March 2013, so to date we’ve only slowly progressed any discussions with potential major US customers until our intellectual property was protected.”
“We’re excited that this patent has now been granted in the US, enabling us to advance our initial discussions with potential US customers in what is one of the largest Additive Manufacturing markets in the world,” he concluded.
The cold-gas dynamic spraying of titanium or titanium alloy particles onto scaffolds to produce load-bearing structures is a proprietary process of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO), which Titomic has exclusive rights to commercialise as part of its TKF offering.
Titomic states that the new process is able to use powders costing approximately one fifth to one tenth that of traditional AM powders, resulting in components up to 50% cheaper, and that it can produce large scale parts thirty times faster than other metal Additive Manufacturing processes. The company has already secured patents for the technology in Japan and New Zealand, with patent pending approval in Australia, China, Europe, Hong Kong and South Korea.
A new Titomic facility is scheduled to open in December 2017, with production trials beginning in the first quarter of 2018. The Melbourne-based site will house a TKF system with a 40.5 m3 build area, reportedly making it the largest Additive Manufacturing machine in the world.