Professor Bernd Kieback, director of the Dresden Branch of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials (IFAM), and also director of the Dresden Technical University’s Institute of Materials Science, has signed a collaboration agreement with the
New Zealand Titanium Industry Development Association (TiDA) during his recent visit to the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic. The agreement will help the TiDA exploit applications for the fine titanium alloy powder now being produced commercially by Titanox Development’s new plant in Mount Mauganui.
According to a report in the Bay of Plenty Times, Professor Kieback stated that the TiDA had made a good start in the exploitation of the new Ti alloy powder by forming a strong partnership between academia and engineers. He said during a PM symposium organised at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic that whilst PM Ti alloy products could be used in industrial, aerospace, automotive and medical sectors, he would advise the TiDA to target the medical market first.
Kieback was impressed by the quality of the Titanox titanium alloy powder. “What is fascinating is that the powder has a small particle size and it has the right properties to go into the new technologies such as medical appliances”, he commented. Kieback cited artificial hips, knee joints, bone screws and plates, heart valves, pacemakers, orthodontic brackets and surgical devices as examples of potential PM titanium products.
Fine titanium alloy powder is currently being produced by Titanox Development at a rate of 20 kg/day, or 5 tonnes/year.