Titomic has reached a ground-breaking agreement with Airbus where Titomic’s patented TKF technology will be used to demonstrate high-performance metal parts for the giant European aircraft manufacturer.

Titomic CEO Jeff Lang said: “We are pleased to partner with Airbus for this initial aerospace part made with Titomic Kinetic Fusion (TKF), the world’s largest and fastest industrial-scale metal additive manufacturing process. The TKF process is ideally suited to produce near-net shape metal parts for the aerospace industry using our patented process of fusing dissimilar metals that cannot be produced with either traditional fabrication methods or metal-based 3D printers.”

The delivery of these demonstrator parts to Airbus, and its subsequent technology review process of TKF aerospace parts, is further validation of the extensive certification that is being undertaken under Titomic’s IMCRC project, co-funded by the Federal Government, with partners CSIRO and RMIT. Airbus installed its first 3D printer in 2012, with the first 3D-printed metal part, a titanium bracket, used in a commercial jetliner in 2014. Today, more than 1,000 3D-printed parts are used in Airbus aircraft.

“3D printing, of which TFK is the leading technology, has the potential to be a game changer post the global COVID-19 pandemic supply chain disruption as aircraft manufacturers look to reduce production costs, increase performance, improve supply chain flexibility and reduce inventory costs,” Lang added. “And TKF, co-developed with the CSIRO, can be an integral part of this change.

“Regulations force aerospace manufacturers to provide spare parts for long periods after the sale of an aircraft, so it’s not rocket science to assume they will be early adopters of 3D printing solutions for spare-part management.”

Titomic has invested heavily in developing additive manufacturing to progress towards a well-defined design, material and process qualification system as required by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Europe’s Airbus is the world’s largest aircraft maker, delivering a record 863 aircraft in 2019.