The Welding Institute (TWI), headquartered in Abington, Cambridge, UK, has announced the installation of a TKF1000 Titomic Kinetic Fusion (TKF) cold spray machine from Titomic Limited, headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, at its facility in Cambridge.
The TKF1000 model, which TWI ordered last year, uses a cold spray process to additively manufacture industrial-scale parts and complex surface coatings. TKF is a patented process for the application of cold-gas dynamic spraying of titanium or titanium alloy particles onto a scaffold to produce a load-bearing structure, and was co-developed by Titomic and Australia’s national science agency and innovation catalyst, CSIRO.
TKF technology accelerates metal particles to supersonic speeds by injecting them into a jetstream, which sprays the particles from a nozzle to collide and stick with a surface through plastic deformation. This particle build-up rapidly produces near-net-shape metal parts. TKF is said to be capable of increasing productivity, lowering costs, and reducing waste by 80% compared to traditional machining.
Herbert Koeck, Managing Director of Titomic, commented, “The partnership with TWI, one of the world’s leading research and technology organisations, furthers our credentials in the aerospace sector. The UK government is awarding grants to technology that helps improve its aerospace manufacturing, so the capabilities of the TKF1000 have been validated through it being a part of the ATI programme.”
“The sale of TKF Systems for research and development is part of Titomic’s diversified revenue strategy, which also includes joint ventures and sales from consumables, and machine solutions in key sectors such as defence and aerospace,” he continued. “TWI will be able to unlock new possibilities with the TKF1000 and to see further advancements of aerospace technology. We look to continuing this partnership with TWI’s industry base in the years ahead.”
The TKF1000 was acquired with a grant from the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) programme, a £3.9 billion joint government and industry initiative to offer funding for research and technology development in the UK.
Henry Begg, TWI section manager, stated, “TWI is excited to expand our cold spray capability significantly with the acquisition of the TKF1000 system. Having been active in cold spray research for the past fifteen years, we will now be able to perform larger and more complex fabrications and, working closely with Titomic and our wide Industrial Membership base, develop the potentially revolutionary opportunities this technology brings. Complementing our existing facilities for laser, arc and electron beam additive manufacture, the TKF1000 offers a fundamentally new approach to fabrication, bypassing some of the challenges associated with solidification and opening up the possibility of multi-material builds.”