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New titanium alloy has highest specific strength of any 3D-printed metal

• arclein

The team starts with a common 3D printing technique where a bed of powdered metal is melted by a laser, fusing it into a solid layer by layer. In this case, that powdered metal is the commonly used beta-titanium alloy. Next, the material undergoes heat treatment at temperatures between 480 and 520 °C (896 and 968 °F), which produces a microstructure that gives the alloy its incredible strength. The treatment process causes particles of titanium to precipitate together in nanograins, which merge in "nanotwin" structures that each share a common side. The team says this is the first titanium alloy to exhibit this kind of structure, and it makes it much stronger than usual.