New titanium materials have been created by New Zealand scientists at Callaghan Innovation, the Government's research and development institute, including one that mimics the structure of human bones that could be used in biomedical implants.
Callaghan Innovation's Ian Brown said the materials had unique characteristics and could potentially add value to a range of industry sectors such as biomedicine, engineering, construction and marine.
The research is part of the New Zealand Titanium Technologies Platform, through which Callaghan Innovation has partnered with other research providers to develop a "pan-industry" manufacturing base for high-value exports.
Brown said the research team had made big advances in the processing of titanium powder to create materials with highly controlled porosity (the property of being porous), which improved the ability to produce lightweight, durable structures.
Callaghan Innovation was having discussions with a number of potential partners for the "uptake" of the products produced in the research phase, he said.
The new materials will be presented at an International Titanium Materials conference in Hamilton early next month.
Callaghan Innovation has combined the operations of Industrial Research Limited (IRL), certain parts of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, staff from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the Auckland Foodbowl, a food innovation facility.
The institute is named after Kiwi physicist Sir Paul Callaghan, who died from cancer last year.