Titomic, Melbourne, Australia, will supply tooling made using its Titomic Kinetic Fusion® (TKF) cold-spray Additive Manufacturing process to Hockley Pattern & Tool Co Ltd, Halesowen, UK. This new partnership is expected to form a foundation for future opportunities.
Tooling is an application field for metal Additive Manufacturing which is seeing significant growth. Using conventional manufacturing methods, manufacturers have previously experienced extreme demand for the tooling required to create carbon fibre parts, with order-books filled years in advance and the current supply unable to meet demand.
Over the past two years, Titomic reports that it has undertaken extensive R&D to validate its TKF process for tooling production. It is now able to create large tooling components by AM in weeks, rather than the 6–12 month lead times typical of conventionally manufactured tooling.
In addition, conventional production of tools by machining Invar metal billets sees up to 90% of material wasted, and casting produces tools which are porous, reducing their lifespan considerably. To overcome these challenges, TKF produces near-net shape tools which require only 10% of material to be machined away. With only 0.5% porosity, these tools also exceed all vacuum leak testing standards for aerospace carbon fibre moulding.
Jeff Lang, Titomic’s Managing Director, stated, “TKF for tooling has been proven to meet certifications and standards, positioning Titomic to revolutionise this global industry. Now, we’re excited to partner with Hockley Pattern – a global tooling leader – to make a strong entrance into the British and European markets”.
Ian Eaves, Head of Technical & Innovation at Hockley Pattern, added, “HPL and its customers are keen to explore and embrace the benefits available through the adoption of the TKF process for their current and future tooling requirements.”
“Reducing carbon footprint, quicker time to market and reliable supply are just some of the key benefits we hope to bring to our clients through our partnership with Titomic. We are excited about the future,” he concluded.