Additive manufacturing (AM) is a promising field as a sustainable alternative to traditional manufacturing processes for the aerospace sector because of the potential of low buy-to-fly ratio on materials. Cold spray offers the potential for AM of titanium parts due to its large deposition rates compared with current AM methods. However, some hurdles are found when spraying titanium by cold spray, in particular the tendency to have high porosity levels and the requirements to use of extreme spray parameters.
Many aerospace parts on Boeing aircrafts cannot currently be easily repaired when damaged during operation due to the lack of existing economical-practical repair technologies. For example, damaged aluminum coatings or chromium plating require that the coating/plating be completely removed and then reapplied, an extremely costly and time consuming process.
There are currently no practical/economical repair methods for many aerospace parts made of aluminum/titanium. The Cold Spray technology produces metal coatings by accelerating metal powders into the substrate to be coated using high velocity jet at supersonic speeds. Upon impact the particles plastically deform and produce a dense coating. Metals such as aluminum/titanium can be applied by this process without damaging the parts to be coated. As such, it is believed that Cold Spray can be used to restore/repair damaged aluminum/titanium aerospace coatings/parts as well as other parts.
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