Metal Binder Jetting
Automotive Polymers

Norsk Titanium Delivers 3D Printed Titanium Components for Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Share this Article

Additive manufacturing company Norsk Titanium US Inc. (Norsk) specializes in structural, aerospace-grade titanium components, and was actually the first to have its 3D printed titanium structural components approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to be used in a commercial airplane, the Boeing Dreamliner, back in 2017. Now, the company has announced production deliveries of new 3D printed components for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Leonardo’s South Italy-based Grottaglie Plant, which is part of its Aerostructures Division.

These new Boeing parts were made using Norsk’s patented Rapid Plasma Deposition (RPD) AM process, which it publicly unveiled to the world in 2015. The proprietary technology, which I’ve seen called both a plasma arc method and a DED one, uses an environment of inert gas, such as argon, to melt titanium wire. Then, just like other 3D printing technologies, the heated material is built up quickly in subsequent layers to make the final, near-net-shape part. To ensure accuracy, the RPD process is monitored more than 600 times per second for quality assurance purposes.

Inside view of a Rapid Plasma Deposition (RPD) MERKE IV machine

Norsk has long put a heavy focus on metallurgy. While other metal materials, including nickel alloys, tool steel, and stainless steel, can all work with the RPD platform, the company—a Tier 1 Supplier to Commercial Airframe and Engine OEMs and a popular partner for aerospace companies—most often uses titanium wire, in order to meet the many exacting requirements of the highly regulated aerospace sector.

RPD printing is said to make the process flow simpler, as well as being able to produce stronger, more durable. Additionally, according to the Norsk website, RPD results in “significantly less machining” than is required for conventional, forge-based methods of manufacturing, which can lead to a major improvement of 50-75% in the buy-to-fly ratio…very helpful in on-demand environments like aerospace that produce safety-critical and structural components.

“Reduced machining also leads to less tooling and energy usage, which are significant cost drivers for titanium parts. The end result is reduced production cost for finish titanium parts, ultimately benefiting the customer,” the website continues.

This newly announced delivery is now the company’s third production customer in the commercial aerostructure space. Additionally, it is also representative of the first recurring order from an aerospace company based in the European Union for Norsk.

“We are pleased to be Leonardo’s supplier. This delivery marks a significant increase in the number of additively manufactured parts previously manufactured from titanium plate. It also is an important step towards our mission to provide an alternative to titanium forgings in aerospace applications,” Karl Fossum, director of customer programs for Norsk, said about the delivery.

Norsk used its industrial RPD process to design and 3D print preforms out of Ti-6Al-4V, a common titanium alloy with great corrosion resistance. By using Rapid Plasma Deposition, the company was able to achieve a more than 40% reduction of raw material needs, as well as maintaining the necessary material properties and process control.

(Images: Norsk Titanium)

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing News Briefs, August 13, 2022: Natural Fibers, Robotic Gripper, & More

3D Printing News Unpeeled, Live with Joris Peels Friday 12th of August



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

“We Have Limitless Opportunities to Fuel Growth” Says Randy Altschuler after Xometry’s Q2 Earnings

The last few years have been rough for the capital market. Between the Covid-related economic slowdown, inflation’s impact on stock returns, and an ongoing war in Ukraine, the stock market...

Metal 3D Printing Firm Velo3D Announces Impressive Q2 Earning

US financial markets appear to be in a state of limbo. For one thing, there are few clear opinions circulating concerning the question as to whether the American economy is,...

3D Printing News Unpeeled, Live with Joris Peels Thursday 11th of August

Today we’re going to discuss 3D printed sunglasses from Givenchy, 3D printing drone swarms, more sustainable 3D printing materials for buildings by ORNL, 3D printing earnings season and more.  

3D Printing News Unpeeled, Live with Joris Peels – Wednesday 10th of August

Today we’re going to discuss 3D printed razors, CERN and more in this live cast of the 3D Printing news.