Strategic Alignment of the Network
Titanium components are conventionally milled from one whole piece. In order to achieve a higher performance from machines and tools, it is necessary to apply cooling agents during processing. The milled titanium shavings are normally not recycled for aircraft construction since the cooling agents and lubricants used during the milling process soil the material too much. Currently, the shavings only find use in the production of paint or as alloy components.
Finding a method for recycling titanium shavings would be a turning point in the manufacture of titanium. The milling of whole titanium pieces normally results in up to 95% shavings. The unrecyclable share of powder in AM technology is only about 5%.
In the innovation network „mepnet – Metal Printing Network“ all partners work together along the entire added value chain and contribute their individual competencies for the development and evaluation of technical solutions.
Regarding the entire process, there are a number of unresolved issues and development requirements for additive manufacturing as well as for the upstream and downstream production processes. There are also drawbacks with the availability of cost-effective materials (recycling of titanium shavings), process reliability as well as plant productivity at acceptable costs. Also, the non-continuous automation of the production process chain as well as data protection pose additional challenges.