Università degli Studi di Padova, Università degli studi di Napoli Federico II, Politecnico di Milano, Prima Additive S.R.L.
Titanium is an interesting material for the fashion sector since its strength, durability and corrosion resistance allow the designer to create new geometries and avoid the galvanic treatments – characterized by a high environmental impact – that usually are reserved to other common materials used for fashion products. It is already possible to find on the market some innovative jewels made with titanium that use as promotional driver its durability and lower impact. Also the high-end furniture sector is looking to the application of titanium, especially for marine applications (high-end yacht) and furnishing accessories (handles, decorations, ..). Since made-in-Italy production is characterized by high-end solutions for a very small lot size, AM could provide a boost for the introduction of titanium in such sectors due to its flexibility and reduction in the consumption of high-cost material respect to traditional milling approaches. Moreover, titanium could offer the possibility to achieve aesthetic surface finish due to peculiar oxidation treatments that could result in a shiny and multicolored surface.
The project has the aim to develop innovative solutions to produce titanium components adopting different AM technologies (SLM and WAAM will be included in this research) and finishing approaches, with the goal to reduce the overall environmental footprint and material consumption. The challenge is to develop reliable solutions, that will be able to meet the standard of jewels and marine applications.
Innovative approaches for SLM and WAAM deposition will be studied and implemented to find the optimal configuration to achieve high quality and low energy and material consumption. For example, for WAAM different approaches will used to reduce the inclusions and excessive grain growth, like strategies to protect the deposition with low inert gas consumption, arc oscillation to break the grain growth, real-time process monitoring, etc. For the finishing of products created with AM, will be developed solutions adopting chemical and mechanical treatments, with the goal to develop an aesthetic solution and improve the material characteristics. Technologies that will be tested and optimized include fluid bed operations, laser remelting and chemical treatments. The goal will be again to reduce as much as possible the environmental impact of these operations. At the end, aesthetic surface finish will be developed based on titanium oxide deposition to exploit the possibility to boost the designer creativity and simultaneously avoiding high impact process like galvanic treatments.
The whole production cycle will be analyzed using LCI/LCA approaches to evaluate the impact of the single operations and provide input for further improvement. Finally, a multicriteria analysis will be carried out to provide the optimal solution for the designer, based on specific constraints, to select the best production and finishing processes.
The main expected results will be related to the definition and optimization of the environmental footprint of processes for titanium part production. A list of the main expected results is: