Titanium Puck and Densification: Technologies for Affordable Mass Production of Automotive and Aerospace Components
The TiPAD program addresses the problem of mass-producing lightweight, high-temperature automotive engine components. The solution is to create a contaminant-free, self-skinned puck from inexpensive powdered titanium and rapidly densify it into a solid, near-net shape component that is over 99.9% porosity-free using mass production techniques.
The Phase I program demonstrated the ability to densify powdered titanium in a mold cavity to create near-net shapes using a powder pack, essentially a can filled with titanium powder and purged of gaseous contaminants. The powder pack is then placed in a mold with a complex geometry and processed into a solid component using thermal cycling to densify the material.
The Phase II program continues developing the process by demonstrating the densification process using mass production concepts. Work is planned to developed a skinned puck made from pre-formed powder and skinned to seal out contaminants. This allows for the staging of the components in a production-line manufacturing system. Additionally, further research is done to reduce densification process cycle time to a matter of minutes. The puck and densification process are two separate technologies but work together to enable mass production of low cost, high quality titanium components for automotive, aerospace, and healthcare industries.
Potential applications for the technology include the lightweighting of automotive engine components such as connecting rods and valve systems, near-net shape aerospace components such as turbine blades and landing gear linkages, and low cost medical components like knee and hip replacements.