The UK-invented process consolidates low cost particulates directly to wire. Titanium springs are more efficient and less dense than steel springs, leading to more efficient combustion engines and lower CO2 emissions. In addition, the energy input and CO2 emissions liberated from the novel consolidation process are significantly lower than the current 30-step batch manufacturing process which includes energy intensive vacuum melting and multiple forging.
By more than halving the cost of titanium wire through leading edge technology, TWISTER will allow its strength and weight properties to be utilised at an economically viable cost, creating major benefits for spring making. New products generated from TWISTER will be affordable and increase the attractiveness to higher volume production vehicles.
For over 50 years the conventional Kroll process has involved a multi-stage production route for titanium wire. With the UK-invented manufacturing process for spring production from titanium particulate, this can be reduced to three stages to the point of having wire ready for spring manufacture. This is the challenge for TWISTER and if successful will provide an estimated 75% reduction in energy costs.
Performance Springs is project lead for the Â£1.6m Innovate UK-funded project, which has six consortium members, four of which are SMEs.