Potential applications of Ti-Cu alloys in the medical and dental industry encourage present research work in developing a more reliable and economical manufacturing process. One of the many ways is to implement the powder metallurgy manufacturing technique, particularly the conventional press and sintered process, so as to create a near net shape fabrication technique not requiring additional post processing. Ti-2.5Cu has great weldability and machinability on top of the advantages of retaining Titanium mechanical strength. However, generally PM (Powder Metallurgy) processed IMI230 components could not meet the industry standard of having at least 97% of its theoretical density. Resolving this issue essentially defines the main work of this project.
Among all the powder metallurgy processes, the cold-press-and-sintered approach was selected and investigated in this project, using addition of Silicon and Boron as the aiding agents. In the initial experiment, a repeated process of looking for ideal volume percentage was performed on 3 selected aiding agents namely, Silicon, Iron, and Boron with IMI230. All were processed under 1300 ⁰C of 2 hours isothermal vacuum sintering and pre-compaction pressure of 400MPa, which later filtered the candidates to only Silicon and Boron due to insignificant results from Iron addition. Samples were prepared, density at different stages was calculated, ready to be analysed. Results show that under these circumstances, both Silicon and Boron were able to produce samples that have relative density greater than 95%, compare with pure IMI230 of 93.5% average value. This narrowed the direction of next stage experiments required. By switching the sintering temperature between 1250, 1300, and 1350⁰C; Boron and Silicon content have been varied to observe the best ratio of the improvement capability. Results revealed that 0.3% of Boron and 1.0% Silicon both could increase relative sintered density to 96% and 96.5% respectively in the maximum temperature of 1350⁰C. In the following experiments, samples which consist of 0.3B-1.0Si and 0.5B-1.0Si within IMI 230 were prepared and underwent identical sintering processes based on the idea of combining the best ratio of both aiding agents.