Jointly Acts y Materialise have just presented a press release announcing the creation of a novel titanium insert for composite panels capable of reduce weight of any part manufactured using traditional systems in up 70%. Apparently, the key to this drastic reduction is found in the optimization of the geometry of the insert and the use of additive manufacturing, this technique is the key since it would allow this geometry to be put into practice.
As a detail, tell you that this kind of inserts is used mainly as tie-down points to transport large structures, so they must be extremely firm to be able to lift, thanks to their use, heavy loads. Thanks to the work done by the guys from both Atos and Materialisse, it has been possible not only to decrease its weight to a third of the original, but also practically all its properties and characteristics have been maintained and even improved.
Atos and Materialize manage to develop composite panels much lighter than the originals.
If we consider even aerospace use of these elements, it should be noted that they serve above all to transfer high mechanical loads in honeycomb-type composite panel structures. In a very classic way, these types of elements have been manufactured by machining aluminum or titanium alloys in the shape of a 100% compact rectangular block, something that increases the resulting weight much more than necessary. Thanks to additive manufacturing, the interior of objects can be made using much lighter structures since material can literally be put where it is needed.
To all this we must add that, today it is estimated that putting a kilogram of mass into orbit has a price of about $ 20.000 so it is more than interesting reduce the weight of all types of components as much as possible present in any structure that is going to be launched into space.