Airbus and Chinese University look at further applications for titanium Additive Manufacturing in commercial aviation

March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014

Airbus and China’s Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) have signed a cooperation agreement on exploring ways to further apply Additive Manufacturing technology in the commercial aviation sector. Under the agreement NPU, located in the Chinese city of Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, will manufacture test specimens of titanium alloy parts for Airbus using its Laser Solid Forming technology.


Signing of the agreement between Airbus and NPU

“We are pleased to have been selected by Airbus, the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer, as a partner to carry out the pilot project to explore ways of applying 3D printing technology in commercial aviation,” stated NPU President Weng Zhiqian. “This project is a test for our 3D research capability and we are confident we will deliver satisfactory results on quality and on time that will establish a solid foundation for further cooperation in this field.”

Airbus stated that it is exploring the use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) to produce individual parts or even larger airframe structures for the company’s line of aircraft. The test specimens produced at NPU will be manufactured according to Airbus specifications and will be measured and assessed by Airbus. 


AM bracket produced by GE for its A350 XWB aircraft

In a separate project Airbus has already produced a variety of plastic and metal brackets for use on the A350 XWB aircraft. The material and structural properties of these parts have been tested and are now incorporated on the company’s fleet of developmental aircraft.

Airbus is also working toward spare part solutions with this technology, which it claims is ideal for producing out of production aircraft spare parts on demand. This month, the first AM component, a small plastic crew seat panel, flew on an Airbus A310 customer jetliner operated by Canada’s Air Transat. 

Posted by: Paul Whittaker, Editor Powder Metallurgy Review &

[email protected]   

March 24, 2014

In the latest issue of PM Review…

Download PDF

Extensive Powder Metallurgy industry news coverage, and the following exclusive deep-dive articles and reports:

  • Phoenix Sintered Metals: A story of transformation, growth and community from America’s PM heartland
  • World PM2024 Yokohama: The stage is set for the PM industry to find a path to sustainable growth
  • The state of Europe’s hard magnets industry and the challenge of optimising the mass production of Nd2Fe14B permanent magnets

The latest news from the world of metal powders, delivered to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of PM Review, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Join our community

Discover our magazine archive…

The free-to-access PM Review magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of Powder Metallurgy from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading PM part manufacturers, metal powder manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.


Browse the archive


Looking for PM production equipment, metal powders, R&D support and more?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our
advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of PM Review magazine.

  • Powders & materials
  • Powder process, classification & analysis
  • PM products
  • Atomisers & powder production technology
  • Compaction presses, tooling & ancillaries
  • Sintering equipment & ancillaries
  • Post-processing
  • Consulting & toll sintering
View online
Share via
Copy link