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The challenge

Overcoming corrosion of manufactured steel products

Steel products which are currently available for various commercial applications, are subject to aggressive corrosion over time. This results in their limited life span across commercial applications.

As Australia has some of the toughest environmental conditions on the planet, soil corrosion of steel products presents an ongoing challenge.

As a manufacturer of steel products, InfraBuild Technologies was looking to improve their steel post products to make them less corrosive. They looked to us to help them.

Manufacturing steel wire at InfraBuild, Newcastle. Image courtesy of InfraBuild

Our response

A new, patented technology

Working with the Innovative Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC) and InfraBuild, we applied our Cold Spray ZAP™ technology to InfraBuild’s problem.

Cold spray is a robotic additive technology that has unique benefits for commercialisation and modernisation of the manufacturing industry, with reduced carbon footprint. Cold Spray ZAP™ additive manufacturing compliments cold spray technology to manufacture high density wrought structures and mill products which are broadly used across infrastructure, aerospace, defence, household goods and motor vehicle manufacturing.

A typical application for Cold Spray ZAP™ technology is the robotic creation of high-strength, corrosion-resistant coating on steel using recycled powders. The novel process not only increases structural integrity of the steel, but it also contributes significantly to a circular economy.

The IMCRC co-funded research collaboration is enabling us to solve a nationwide challenge - improving the sustainability of fencing in Australia under some of the toughest environmental conditions on earth.

The results

A superior material

Our patented robotic Cold Spray ZAP™ additive technology has modernised Australia’s local steel manufacturing capability.

The application of this technology results in a superior, more dense material produced by rapid densification and recrystallisation, and has the potential to be a dynamic new process of addictive manufacturing.

The innovative coatings developed as part of this project will significantly increase the life of selected InfraBuild steel products, cutting costs associated with production, installation and corrosion.

The process has the added benefit of using recycled global waste such as titanium powder, which contributes to create a circular economy within the industry while delivering production cost savings, lower energy consumption and lower capital investment via introduction of robotic additive technology - all of which lead to a lower carbon footprint.

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