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Industrial Titanium-Plating Process for the Manufacturing of Light-Weight Composite Parts

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TiPlate (Industrial Titanium-Plating Process for the Manufacturing of Light-Weight Composite Parts)

Reporting period: 2020-11-01 to 2021-10-31

Polymertal Ltd. specializes in the superior metal plating of polymers, leading the trend of metal replacement, by combination of polymer skeletons and external metal layers that provide the best of both worlds.
Titanium, is a fantastic metal material for lightweight, high-strength applications (e.g. in aerospace), for medical implant materials and devices, and for use in harsh environments (e.g. industrial applications). The capability of plating Titanium on polymers can open a wide range of opportunities in the metal replacement field, by saving cost and weight to large spectrum of products.

The TiPlate solution, enables the manufacture of lightweight, high performance, corrosion-resistant, biocompatible titanium-plated polymer components and parts.
Compared to titanium metal parts, TiPlate significantly reduces the required amount of titanium, thereby saving at least 70% of costs and 60% of weight, while strength of the pure polymer parts is improved by 30-50%. This process provides many benefits by enabling 3D printing cheap and reliable manufacturing processes, saving in material (Titanium) volume costs, eliminating metal expensive and high energy consumption production processes (such as forging, casting, machining etc..) and most important – all our products are recyclable, including parts in its end of life .

The objectives are both in the company level and actual development targets:
It is Polymertal’s objective to become the global leader in metal plating of 3D printed polymers in general, and Titanium plating capability specifically .
We strategically aim to move into the higher-end niche market of titanium parts to strengthen our position, offering the medical , aerospace and other industries a cost-effective alternative to the currently available options (costly machined or 3D printed titanium metal parts).
TiPlate will position Polymertal in our target European markets in a clearly differentiated way, as nobody else is offering such a service or products.

In the program development level, there are few main objectives - to test the developed TiPlate process for titanium plating quality, to make several case studies with TiPlate process & polymers for medical devices, to make fully controlled cost effective TiPlate process and finally - to find medical’s devices partner walking us through the regulations requirements adopted to our process.
The final process for TiPlating defined, would be IP protected by patent.
Although many difficulties we have faced due to Covid virus, Polymertal has moved forward with the development of Tiplate:

- We have cooperated with Prof. from the Jerusalem Hebrew University to support us in the development efforts, Based on his chemical knowledge and Polymertal’s experience in hybrid parts manufacturing.
- We went over our TiPlate process together with him . We found that the process was not satisfactory for medical devices.
- Therefore, we have examined new concepts for plating Titanium on polymers by:
+ Aquas electrolyte based on saturated solution of hydroscopic salt.
+ Non Aquas (organic solvent) electrolyte plating
+ Nanotechnology approach

We are in advanced stage of development. We close to define the final novel plating process, but it still too early and more tests should be performed.
In 2-3 months we plan to start case studies with some 3D manufacturers (in Israel & Germany).
The new plating process is considered confidential and will be patent protected.

- We took the benefit the H2020 program has offered by working together with 2 coachers that worked with us together in improving two important aspects, both to the company in general and to the TiPlate specifically on the following subjects:
• Failure Analysis modes and prevention.
• Sustainability Strategy and targets.
- We plan during the second program’s year to accurate & stable the process developed , protect it by a patent, and make production pilots with Israeli and German companies on different types of polymers and platings.

- As soon the process is stabilized and approved, we will progress with publishing the unique capability of TiPlate and penetrate the medical and aerospace/space markets.

- We assume that after 2 years development of the new technology, it will take us 2-5 more years to penetrate the target markets with our TiPlate concept, and receive all needed approvals for safety and medical/aerospace regulations.
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