Titanium has been known as a common element for nearly 200 years and is the fourth most commonly occurring mineral. Nowadays, the major limitation of Titanium use in industry is strongly linked with: - the price of the raw material (between 7 ECU and 8 ECU per kg for a 99,8% sponge of Titanium), - the cost of transformation which requires more than twice as much energy as aluminium or some of the steels. Another drawback of titanium for industrial application is that it usually needs some treatments to enhance its quality and especially its wear resistance and friction properties. These treatments are usually expensive (they double the price of production) which limit their use to high added value parts. The project aims to develop a an innovative thermo chemical treatment of titanium parts (on classical alloy like T40, TA6V, etc. but also on new low cost titanium alloy) by nitrogen diffusion in order to harden the surface. This treatment by nitrogen diffusion will harden the surface and create a thin layer for an increase of wear resistance. The final result should be: - to reduce the cost of the surface treatment (5 to 10 times less expensive) - to increase the wear resistance and thus the lifetime 2 to 3 times - to obtain an homogeneous and penetrating treatment - treatment under low pressure (low environmental impact, low gas consumption), - to treat simultaneously several different and complex shapes - to obtain 100% big compatibility The result of the treatment will be thin layer of TiN and Ti2N + a nitrogen diffusion layer (0,1 mm) with an increase of the wear resistance two to three times more than with usual surface treatment of titanium surface. It will certainly interest a large panel of industrials in various fields coming from medical application to nuts and screws manufacturing or sports and leisure.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
GU14 0NR Farnborough
SP11 8H21 Andover
SG6 1RR Letchworth Herts