Titanium Alloy Image
The new titanium alloy developed by City University of Hong Kong using 3D printing has lava-like microstructures that give rise to its excellent mechanical properties. (Credit: City University of Hong Kong)

A super-strong, highly ductile, super-light titanium-based alloy was developed using 3D printing. The process provides a method to design alloys with unprecedented structures and properties for various structural applications.

The method involves melting and mixing two different alloys, such as titanium alloy powder and stainless steel powder, using a focused laser beam. By controlling parameters like the laser power and its scanning speed during the 3D printing process, the team successfully created the non-uniform composition of the elements in the new alloy in a controllable way.

These unique microstructures provide an excellent work-hardening capacity of over 300 megapascals, which guarantees a large safety margin prior to fracture and is useful in structural applications.