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Titanium is the perfect metal to make replacement human body parts

Titanium material is expensive and can be problematic when it comes to traditional processing technologies. For example, its high melting point (1,670℃, much higher than steel alloys) is a challenge.

The relatively low-cost precision of 3D printing is therefore a game-changer for titanium. 3D printing is where an object is built layer by layer and designers can create amazing shapes.

This allows the production of complex shapes such as replacement parts of a jaw bone, heel, hip, dental implants, or cranioplasty plates in surgery. It can also be used to make golf clubs and aircraft components.

The CSIRO is working with industry to develop new technologies in 3D printing using titanium. (It even made a dragon out of titanium.)

Advances in 3D printing are opening up new avenues to further improve the function of customised bodypart implants made of titanium.

Such implants can be designed to be porous, making them lighter but allowing blood, nutrients and nerves to pass through and can even promote bone in-growth.

Safe in the body

Titanium is considered the most biocompatible metal – not harmful or toxic to living tissue – due to its resistance to corrosion from bodily fluids. This ability to withstand the harsh bodily environment is a result of the protective oxide film that forms naturally in the presence of oxygen.

Its ability to physically bond with bone also gives titanium an advantage over other materials that require the use of an adhesive to remain attached. Titanium implants last longer, and much larger forces are required to break the bonds that join them to the body compared with their alternatives.

Titanium alloys commonly used in load-bearing implants are significantly less stiff – and closer in performance to human bone – than stainless steel or cobalt-based alloys.

Aerospace applications

Titanium weighs about half as much as steel but is 30% stronger, which makes it ideally suited to the aerospace industry where every gram matters.

In the late 1940s the US government helped to get production of titanium going as it could see its potential for “aircraft, missiles, spacecraft, and other military purposes”.

Titanium Forgings Shapes

Titanium forgings refer to products manufactured by the process of shaping metal utilizing compressive forces. The compressive forces used are generally delivered via pressing, pounding, or squeezing under great pressure. Although there are many different kinds of forging processes available, they can be grouped into three main classes:

4 Benefits of Titanium Pipe and Tube

1. Lower Density

The density of Titanium pipe and tube is significantly lower than steel, copper, or nickel products. Despite their low density, they are very strong and rigid when compared to other alloy components.

Titanium is used in production of super light high speed aircrafts, satellites and spacecrafts, and ships. Apart from aerospace & aviation, some other major end user industries of titanium products include paper, plastic, and paints & coatings.

Powder production

After atomisation, Titanium powder is traditionally collected in a cyclone system. These powders are typically non-passivated. The transfer of these non-passivated powders from the atomisation cyclone to ancillary process containers is considered to present a high risk of thermal runaway, which may require breaking of the inert gas seal and exposure to oxygen with high potential for powder aspiration. To overcome this problem, non-passivated powder requires exposure to air (or a reactive gas) to passivate at room temperature, a very time consuming and potentially dangerous process. As an example, passivation of 215 kg of aluminium powder was conducted in a powder collection canister after atomisation, requiring a 20 hour cool down (below MIT), followed by a 1.5 hour passivation period [3]. While canisters can be isolated and moved for passivation, this process concentrates a large quantity of nascent surface powders (i.e. highly reactive) in a confined vessel, which is not ideal.

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