Sandvik’s state-of-the-art titanium powder plant and additive manufacturing operations in Sandviken recently received the prestigious ‘AS9100 Revision D’ certification for deliveries to the aerospace industry.
The powder plant for Osprey titanium and nickel-based superalloys was inaugurated in the end of 2019 in Sandviken, Sweden. Since then extensive work has been ongoing to ramp-up the plant, finetuning all processes and qualifying the powder to ensure the best possible consistency, morphology and quality suitable for additive manufacturing. As a result, the ‘AS9100 Revision D’ certification for aerospace was recently received in April this year. At the same time, the additive manufacturing facility in Sandviken also achieved the AS9100D Aerospace certification.
Driving the shift towards sustainable manufacturing
Titanium has exceptional material properties, being strong yet light and offering high levels of corrosion resistance. At the same time, it is biocompatible. However, the cost and complexity of machining from titanium billet have historically restricted its use to high value, low volume industries such as aerospace, medical and defense.
The launch of titanium powders for additive manufacturing supports a growing trend towards the 3D printing of titanium parts – and the shift towards sustainable manufacturing. Because the additive process wastes less and encourages design freedom, it opens up the use of materials like titanium in other industries, such as automotive and tooling. Sandvik’s Lightweight CoroMill 390 for example, was used to make an additive version of a mill tool that is more than 80% lighter and up to 200% more productive.
Incomparable level of traceability and excellent consistency
Traceability is vital in the aerospace industry. Sandvik can offer an incomparable level of traceability for its titanium powder, which is made possible by having the full supply chain inhouse – from titanium sponge to finished powder. The new titanium powder process uses advanced electrode inert gas atomization technology to produce highly consistent and repeatable titanium powder with low oxygen and nitrogen levels. The automated production process is also supported by several industrial robots and dedicated downstream sieving, blending and packing facility.
The first two powders produced at the plant will be Osprey Ti-6Al-4V Grade 5 and Osprey Ti-6Al-4V Grade 23. Other alloys are available on request. In addition to the AS9100D certification, the plant is also certified according to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001.