Susan M. Abkowitz, vice president Technology & Operations at Dynamet Technology Inc, in Burlington, Mass., reported in a presentation at the AeroMat2011 conference held in Long Beach, Calif. (May 23-26), that cooperation over the past two years with The Boeing Company has resulted in the favourable evaluation of high density and full density Ti alloy preform shapes produced by the company.
Dr Abkowitz reported that the clean and energy efficient PM process allows significant cost reductions in production by decreasing the buy/fly ration of strategic titanium components vs. ingot metallurgy or forged products. The mechanical properties achieved with the PM titanium preforms and the minimum tensile strength specifications were also found to compare favourably with conventional wrought Ti products.
Additionally, the data generated demonstrated excellent product quality and with a high degree of reproducibility, thus allowing PM Ti alloys to be included in Boeing’s data base of manufacturing technologies for the company’s civil aircraft. Dr Abkowitz stated that a second equally important (to affordability) benefit of the PM titanium manufacturing cycle is the significant reduction in product lead times.
Dynamet Technology also recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop PM titanium automotive powertrain components. The company has been working with the Ford Motor Co to reduce the weight of components (particularly in reciprocating applications) and to produce these by PM at a lower cost than conventional Ti routes.
Reducing the weight of reciprocating parts can allow weight reduction of other components as well as reduce bearing stress and friction. Glen Weber, Technical Specialist – Engine Metals at Ford Motor stated that: ‘ Dynamet technology is compelling and with further development has a strong potential to contribute to the production of increasingly energy efficient vehicles’.