The FAST STEP 3 consortium led by Bentley Motors and pulled together by the Northern Automotive Aliance (NAA) has been successful in obtaining government funding through Innovate UK. Other consortium members are the University of Sheffield, Force Technology, Transition International & W.H. Tildesley.
The project utilises high value alloyed titanium (Ti) swarf as a feedstock to sinter-forge via the new, novel technology FASTforge process into near net shapes for use in high strength and good fatigue life applications typically required within an automotive engine. Four engine components of increasing complexity from both a manufacturing and performance perspective will be manufactured and functional bench tested.
To achieve this a new UK supply chain will be developed, with diversification for companies within traditional metal manufacturing and ‘know-how’ transfer from the University of Sheffield, combined with multiple areas for IP generation. The FAST process has existed for many years but when combined with forging it can release its untapped potential. The process will produce titanium at 20% of the cost of current titanium billet and with minimal waste compared to the 70% waste typically generated from current processes.