Titomic, an Australian metal fusion additive manufacturing company, will supply an English counterpart, Hockley Pattern & Tool, with the technology to manufacture tools. The partnership extends Titomic’s reach across the globe after a long research and development process through which the company’s aerospace manufacturing technology, Titomic Kinetic Fusion, is made applicable to smaller tooling operations.
Titomic specializes in leveraging advanced materials and its new AM technology. Its focus on material science uses proprietary machines a
nd a patented process through which products are created in new materials, thus meeting clients’ unique demands. The technology is particularly suited to specialized aerospace applications. Titomic possesses the exclusive rights to commercialize the Commonwealth Science & Industrial Research Organisation’s proprietary application of titanium or titanium alloy particles via cold-gas spaying on a scaffold. This method creates a load-bearing structure with applications in high-stress situations.
Such situations occur in aircraft and on aircraft: a poorly manufactured tool can lead to accidents. Titomic and Hockley together offer large tooling components capable of high-stress construction and repairs on the ground.
Hockley Pattern & Tool is a test case that adapts Titomic’s technology to tooling in aerospace. This adjacent application promotes Titomic’s proprietary technology in new territory. It also strengthens the parts that Hockley may produce while reducing production times. Hockley also serves automotive, defense, nuclear, medical and rail companies. Titomic’s technology might find new applications in these sectors.
The efficiency promised by this new partnership must be understood with reference to traditional tooling standards. Traditional machining of Invar metal billets to manufacture tools sees up to 90% of material wasted, and casting produces tools that are porous, which reduces tool lifespan considerably. To overcome these challenges, TKF manufactured near-net-shape tools only require 10% of material to be machined away, and with only 0.5% porosity, these tools exceed all vacuum leak testing standards for aerospace carbon fiber molding.