The main objective of this project is to develop the appropriate Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) technology for Titanium processing, employing a novel plasma atomised Ti powder of perfect sphericity for manufacturing high quality biomedical implant devices meeting the stringent standards imposed for this kind of materials in a cost-effective way. MIM technology is the only one that can face with success the cost-effective production of very complex shapes with thin sections, including microsized and functionally graded devices. However, no real success has been identified for MIM of Ti because of Ti tendency to react with the binder and the sintering atmosphere and the poor availability of suitable fine, high purity Ti powders. The project comprises two main research activities:
a)The optimisation of a breakthrough plasma atomisation process for the cost effective production of a high-quality, fine, spherical Ti powder and
b)The optimisation of the processes for the production of high quality Ti components using the MIM technology.
The final outcome of the research will target:
a) To overcome the difficulties related to the specifications and cost of the commercially available powders,
b) To determine the optimal debinding and sintering parameters for obtaining Ti-MIM implants meeting the stringent standards and
c) To formulate the requirements of industrial equipment for new and conventional debinding and sintering processes of Ti-MIM.
The project objectives achievement would represent a tremendous step towards the fabrication of high quality implants at an affordable price having, thus, a direct effect on the quality of health of the European citizens. The technology would be also feasible for the automotive and aerospace markets, where Ti-MIM components could replace other metallic parts contributing to the total structure weight reduction, with significant impact on metallic material resources and fuel consumption.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCooperative - SMEs-Co-operative research contracts