The entry of several large corporations in the titanium alloy PM and AM arena has been highlighted in recent months by a variety of acquisitions. First there was Alcoa Inc.,1 which in 2015 purchased RTI International Metals to form Alcoa Titanium & Engineered Products, and hence acquired Dynamet Technology Inc., which RTI had bought the previous year. More recently, GE announced the simultaneous acquisition of Arcam AB, of Sweden, and Germany's SLM Solutions Group AG, for a total of $1.4 BN.

Meanwhile, down in the trenches, familiar characters on the international PM scene updated audiences at POWDERMET 2016 in Boston on what their companies were concerned with in the fields of titanium PM and AM, respectively. Two of these presentations, now both from senior executives of Alcoa's new unit are summarized in this article.

Using PM technology to develop new engineered products

Susan M. Abkowitz, Alcoa Titanium & Engineered Products (USA), spoke briefly about developments at the Burlington Powder Materials Group where PM processes have been in use for a number of years to create new titanium-based materials. She outlined the CHIP process in which elemental and/or master-alloy powders are used to create new material compositions. Starting with compressible, irregularly-shaped powders that can be compacted by cold isostatic pressing in re-usable elastomeric tooling, the resulting compacts are vacuum sintered and then subjected to containerless hot isostatic pressing (HIP) to yield a fully-alloyed, high-density near-net shape part or a preform, for final machining or that can be further processed by forging, rolling or extrusion. Beginning originally with Ti-6-4, the process has been employed in the development of a number of advanced engineered materials.

This article appeared in the Nov/Dec issue of Metal Powder Report.

Already a Materials Today member?

Log in to your Materials Today account to access this feature.