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Aero parts research on show at open day

By Simon Penfold | Business Picks | Published:

An open day has been held to mark the completion of the largest-ever research project backed by Innovate UK for developing low-cost titanium alloy structural parts.

KUKA linear friction welding process engineer Elena Izvolensky shows some of the work produced for the TiFab project.

The event in Halesowen demonstrated the results of the £2.6m, three-year TiFab programme which brought together consortium members CAV Advanced Technologies, KUKA, Ten Solutions and The Welding Institute.

With input from several OEMs, the project has examined more than 170 aircraft components and explored the use of linear friction welding to join lightweight alloy parts.

The study's successful outcomes have included the development of a unique, patented, cost-effective tooling system for tailored blank production and simultaneous welding of linear friction welded parts.

As well as predicting annual raw material savings of around £9m, the project has also estimated that manufacturers could save more than 200 tonnes of titanium a year.

Visitors to the event were able to see a linear friction welding process demonstration featuring KUKA's LR50 machine. Consortium members also gave a series of presentations on the programme.

More details on the TiFab project are available to view online at www.nearnetshape.co.uk

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.

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