Open day showcases novel aero parts research
An open day to showcase the largest-ever research project backed by Innovate UK for developing cost-effective titanium alloy structural airframe parts takes place in the Black Country on June 29.
KUKA will host the event at its Halesowen facility to highlight the results of the three-year TiFab programme which predicts annual raw material savings of around £9 million.
The open day programme includes a series of presentations by TiFab Consortium members and a linear friction welding process demonstration featuring the Thompson LR50 machine.
Consortium members KUKA, CAV Advanced Technologies, Ten Solutions and The Welding Institute have been exploring the use of the linear friction welding method to bond lightweight titanium alloy parts.
With support from several OEMs, they have studied more than 170 aircraft components as part of the £2.6m project and identified that manufacturers could save more than 200 tonnes of titanium a year.
"We're keen to share the exciting results of the TiFab project and show how we've accomplished a 100% success rate in producting tailored blank solutions and at least 30% in material savings," said Sanjiv Mann, senior programme manager at KUKA.
The project's main aim is to develop an industrial scale demonstrator tooling system and components. The research programme has already examined a large range of candidate parts, created design solutions for tailored blanks and established weld process parameters.
Further details about the open day, which runs from 10am-2pm, are available online at http://www.nearnetshape.co.uk. Places are limited so visitors need to register their attendance as soon as possible.