Z3DLAB, a French additive manufacturing specialist, was founded in 2014 and specializes in the development and manufacturing of advanced titanium for the AM industry. After 7 years, Z3DLAB is proud to scientifically confirm that the ZTi powder family has proven its unique physical and mechanical properties, not only improving Ti64 alloy, but also eliminating the drawbacks of Ti64.
Z3DLAB is one of the few companies to address the problems of using AM machines with better titanium than forged titanium.
Due to its good high-temperature stability, high corrosion resistance and specific strength, Ti64 is one of the most widely used titanium alloys and accounts for more than 50% of the titanium used worldwide. Ti64 has been used in industry since the 1950s and is widely used in aerospace, biomedical and automotive applications. However, Ti64’s relatively low wear resistance, low heat resistance, and low fatigue resistance are the main drawbacks that limit its wide application in industry, especially in additive manufacturing, where its fatigue resistance is lower than that of its forged counterpart.
Two different matrices were targeted: the Ti64 matrix of the ZTi-Powder family and the CP-Ti matrix of the ZTi-Med family.
In 2015, Z3DLAB demonstrated the world’s first successful fusion of Ti64 with nano-ceramics at “les Assises Européennes de la fabrication additive”, opening the field for MMCs (Metal Matrix Composites) in the AM world. The launch for the ZTi powder family in different concentrations (ZTP10, ZTP25, ZTP50).
In 2017, Z3DLAB entered into a relationship with Korean DeD (Directed Energy Deposition) machine manufacturer InssTek to use ZTi-Powder on their machines, resulting in a EUREKA project in July 2018 and ended successfully in May 2021. Only in 2022, a scientific work with the three prestigious institutes KIAST & KITECH in Korea and the CNRS in France, was carried out to study the mechanical properties of ZTP10 from the ZTi-Powder family produced by DeD machines.
In 2019 and 2020, two scientific articles were published by the French research center CNRS in the two journals “Materials & Design” and “Data in brief”. These papers demonstrated the unique mechanical properties of the ZTi powder family and provided the scientific explanations for
“The appearance of an oxide dispersion strengthening (ODS) mechanism” in ZTP10. The ODS mechanism was also recently promoted by NASA for their new GRX-810 alloy. Improving mechanical properties by adding nanoceramics was also recently studied at the University of WISCONSIN-MADISON, which confirmed that nano-yttria-stabilized zirconia powder (nYSZ) dramatically reduces defects in metal parts. Post-processing of ZTP10 was also researched and investigated. In early 2022, a scientific paper was published outlining all aspects of the in-house developed post-processing heat treatments and, in particular, hot isostatic pressing (HIP) and their effects on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the material.
Finally, another international (Japanese, Hungarian, French) scientific paper was published in July 2022 confirming the exceptional fatigue performance of ZTP10 compared to Ti64. All these efforts were also taken up in a PhD thesis selected as one of the “ten best national dissertations” in France in 2022.
The properties of the new ZTP10 material
MMC ZTP10 is a Ti64-based alloy that has achieved excellent results:
- Harder than normal Ti64 → (> 30%) 442 HV0.2
- Higher heat resistance → (>30%) than AM Ti64 at 850°C.
- Better corrosion resistance than AM Ti64.
- Nano-yttria-stabilized zirconia powder → ODS formation.
- Higher fatigue resistance → (>40%) than AM Ti64.
The same commitment applies to the ZTi-Med family, in particular ZTM14N, a trinary alloy that also has unique properties. This program was launched in 2020.
Z3DLAB has an immediate production capacity of 4T/year and aims to expand it rapidly through partnerships (financial/industrial) Z3DLAB is constantly driving the innovation of unique titanium-based materials and constantly resonating with the needs of the market, fulfilling its motto: “We design and manufacture in another way for a better life”.
Find out more about Z3DLAB at z3dlab.com.