MAPP researcher Dr Nicholas Weston, University of Sheffield, spoke to Engineering Materials about FAST-forge and how reducing titanium production costs allows a broader range of applications.

Field assisted sintering technology (FAST), also referred to as spark plasma sintering (SPS) or pulsed electric current sintering (PECS), enables a wide range of material powders (including ceramics, metals, and composites) to be rapidly sintered to high densities; often at lower temperatures, for shorter times, and with an improvement in microstructure and/or properties when compared to conventional sintering techniques.

The FAST-forge process produces forged components from powder in two simple steps [1,2].  

Metallic powder is shaped into a forging preform using FAST, followed by a one-step precision forge to improve the mechanical properties and fatigue performance of (in some cases) safety critical components for both the aerospace and automotive sectors.  

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1. N. S. Weston, F. Derguti, A. Tudball, and M. Jackson, J. Mater. Sci. 50, 4860 (2015).
2. N. S. Weston and M. Jackson, J. Mater. Process. Technol. 243, 335 (2017).