During the first part of MMTECH, gamma titanium aluminide powders have been developed by partner MBN. These wil be turned into near-net parts using blown powder systems at USFD and PRIMA.
A set of test-articles has been defined. These include blocks for microscopy and tensile specimens as well as a standard features part which incorporates the most critical geometrical features and tolerances required by the end-users.
The size and morphology of the different powders developed by MBN have been characterised and compared with gas-atomised Ti-6Al-4V. Early results led to a refinement of the powder sieving stage. A set of test builds were made based around parameters found in the literature. As expected, these exhibited cracking and porosity, with higher laser powers inducing greater cracking and porosity. The parameters are being refined based on these results.
Once parameters have been developed which create crack-free, fully-dense parts, further experiments will be carried out to determine the mechanical properties of the parts and the robustness of the parameters.
PRIMA are developing an optimsed deposition head for 3D capability, new powder feed nozzles and a high-powered laser. They will carry out some deposition trials at higher laser powers.