MMTECH will carry out research into a number of different technologies to meet its objectives. To deliver high quality powders, MBN will develop a knowledge-based solution for manufacturing powders using mechanical alloying. This will deliver γ-TiAl powders which are suitable for RM and which have a known quality in terms of microstructure and morphology. Batch to batch consistency for quantities of 10-15 litres will be provided by using industrial mills with a dedicated Ti-based milling environment and by efficient use of covering Argon gas to preserve powder quality.
To reduce the high cost of manufacturing parts from γ-TiAl and the production time, blown powder additive manufacturing techniques will be investigated. Statistical methods will be used to produce a robust set of parameters for right-first-time production of γ-TiAl parts and the process will be monitored and controlled to minimise further inspection and rejected parts. This will ensure that parts of consistently high quality are sent for machining.
The machining process will be improved in a number of ways, including the development of a machine tool specifically for the production of γ-TiAl parts and correct selection of tools, lubricants and machine add-ons. Developments in process control include active and passive damping, and self-adaptive control.
The whole process from powder production to finished part will be modelled, which will provide insights into the ways in which the different processes and parameters interact and guide the optimisation process. Both individual and multi-scale models will be produced and coupled to create a full process model.