Science Host (TiDA)

TiDA is an organisation that is at the forefront of laser printing titanium metal powder in order to create very complex metal products. Although titanium is a light metal it is also very strong. It is very good at resisting corrosion so this means it can be used in places like in seawater where many other metals would rust and decay.

Titanium is a natural element and can be found in lots of places and objects on Earth. The black sand you find on West Coast beaches of the South Island contains large amounts of titanium. This type of titanium is called ilmenite and has eroded from the Southern Alps and eventually it has washed down to the sea and then the waves have washed it back up onto the beaches. The scientific symbol for Titanium is Ti and its atomic number is 22.

Many objects we use are made out of Titanium like computers, mobile phones and sporting goods. Companies who design and manufacture aircraft, medical and automotive equipment industries use titanium metal to make complex parts and products that are very hard to make using more ordinary metals. If they need to create an object that needs to be very strong but not be too heavy (such as in an aircraft) they can now do this successfully by using Ti.

There are lots of opportunities to make things out of titanium. TiDA is helping to make this possible by completing lots of research and using their advanced technology to assist companies in replacing older metal products with titanium and making new items using this advanced material.

TiDA has several goals that they are working hard on;
To help companies do things better by providing them with high quality titanium products.
To help companies design new and better objects and test them to see if they work well.
To create and run a research programme that people all over the country can learn from.
To make friends with other experts overseas and work and learn together.
To encourage experts in metal powder to come and visit, live and work in NZ.                                                             

America's Cup Knife, Special equipment pieces, replacement jaw bones for a dog.
Here are some examples of Titanium products that have been designed and then printed on one of the 3D metal printing machines at TiDA. The Victory Knife on the left was used by the crews on the America's Cup Yachts. It needs to be very strong and sharp to cut through the tough ropes they use but also very light as each crew member has to carry one when they are racing. 

The photo on the right is a brand new titanium jaw bone created for a dog whose old one didn't work properly anymore so the team at TiDA worked with the vets to print him a new one. He is much happier now.

Well done TiDA Team.

We have had a visit from the Prime Minister Mr Key. We were all on our best behaviour. Here are some photos. 

The Prime Minister visits TiDA.

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