Boeing has signed an agreement to collaborate with Melbourne-based additive manufacturing innovator, Titomic, to investigate the application of sustainable “green” titanium for the production of space components.
Titomic was recently awarded a $2.325 million Australian government Modern Manufacturing Initiative grant to explore and commercialise the production of space vehicle and satellite parts using the local titanium mineral resource.
“Under the agreement, Boeing will provide the designs and engineering expertise to enable Titomic to demonstrate its cutting-edge kinetic fusion additive manufacturing technology on the production of space parts, initially for JP9102,” Paul Watson, Boeing Defence Australia director Aerospace Engineering and Production, said.
“Demonstrating that additive manufacturing technology, or large-scale 3D printing, using green titanium produces highly resilient, lightweight components will have broad-ranging application across the space sector.”
Titomic is an established operator and registered research provider in the defence and aerospace sector which, with the CSIRO, co-developed Titomic Kinetic Infusion – the world’s largest and fastest 3D metal additive manufacturing technology.
Boeing says the use of green titanium for additive manufacturing is a 'potential game changer'. It is readily available in Australia, considered more environmentally sustainable than other alternatives and enables 'significant time and cost efficiencies' by eliminating the need for extensive raw mineral processing.
“The collaboration with Boeing has the potential to position Titomic as a leading-edge supplier within the space manufacturing industry,” Herbert Koeck, Titomic CEO, said.
“Together we can redefine the production process for space vehicles and parts to accelerate Australia’s standing in the global space domain.”
Boeing has also recently announced collaborative agreements with RMIT, Saber Astronautics, Leidos, ViaSat, the Indigenous Defence and Infrastructure Consortium (IDIC) and Clearbox as part of its investment in sovereign space capability.