Research and Application of Superplastic Forming Titanium Alloys for Commercial Aircraft Parts
Titanium alloys sheets have many attractions for the aerospace industry owing to their high strength, low density, heat resistance and other useful properties. Many of the sheet metal structures in airframes have complex shapes and compound curvatures with intricate details. Superplastic forming (SPF), a most recent advancement in titanium sheet forming technology, exploits the excellent characteristic of >1000% elongation potential for the fabrication of complex configurations not achievable by conventional methods. SPF technology can also reduce manufacturing cost by shortening the preparation time, eliminating the need for extensive welding or other joining methods and by reducing the number of manufacturing steps. Consequently, high profit margins may be achieved in serial aircraft production. This paper outlines the research at Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) of SPF technology and its application in producing complex-shape Ti sheet parts for the new IAI commercial aircrafts, models “G-150” and “G-200”. Examples of both actual and experimental parts are given, together with details of the manufacturing parameters employed. An economical analysis is also included.
Z.Y. Zhong, H. Saka, T.H. Kim, E.A. Holm, Y.F. Han and X.S. Xie
B. Gershon and I. Eldror, "Research and Application of Superplastic Forming Titanium Alloys for Commercial Aircraft Parts", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 475-479, pp. 3047-3050, 2005