“Mobilint”, a novel method to produce complex shapes by spark plasma sintering
NORIMAT, a CIRIMAT start-up, signed a licence agreement with Toulouse Tech Transfer (TTT) on 7 November 2017 to exploit the French patent “Mobilint”. This represents another step for the production, in record time, of ultra-resistant parts having complex shapes.
Mobilint, an innovative method for the production of complex shapes
Filed 4 November 2015 on behalf of the University of Toulouse III–Paul Sabatier (UT3-PS) and the CNRS, the Mobilint patent is the fruit of the Ph.D. thesis work of Charles Manière. Now a postdoctoral fellow in the Powder Metallurgy Laboratory at San Diego State University, he is the principal author of this patent along with his two thesis directors, Lise Durand (Associate Professor in the CEMES laboratory at UT3-PS) and Claude Estournès (CNRS Research Director with CIRIMAT).
Charles Manière’s thesis research removed key technological obstacles in the production of complex 3D shapes using the non-conventional Spark Plasma Sintering process. Before, the difficulty was to obtain these complex parts with a high density.
The ingenuity of this patent lies in the use of an interfacial material that allows facile separation, after sintering, of the desired form from its counter-form. During this operation, the form and the counter-form (originally as powders) become denser. The inert interface adapts to the shape of the part during the sintering process. This prevents any reaction between powders of the form and counter-form as well as facilitating the separation of the two pieces at the end of the sintering process. The turbine blade shown in the figure is an example of the types of parts that can be produced by this novel technology.
With this Mobilint technology, NORIMAT accelerates its development
We’ve already presented in these pages the story of NORIMAT, a spin-off from the CIRIMAT laboratory, founded in 2016 by Romain Epherre, Yannick Beynet and Claude Estournès. This start-up proposes a more rapid and profitable method to manufacture parts for the aeronautical industry, using the flash sintering method called Spark Plasma Sintering.
The implementation of the Mobilint licence will allow this young company to hit the ground running in 2018 and pursue its development in the elaboration of materials for applications in aeronautics.
For more information, you can read the original research article: C. Manière et al., Powder Technology, 30 (2017), 340–345, “Spark plasma sintering and complex shapes: The deformed interfaces approach”
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