Superplastic Titanium Tanks for Propulsion System of Satellites
Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS/JAXA) in collaboration with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has developed fuel and gas tanks for reaction control system and orbital control system of satellites; A tank is fabricated through welding of two thin, hemi-spherical or conical parts, which are fabricated by superplastic blow forming. Mass-productivity is not an important factor but the forming precision and flexibiliry in the process are important for this application. ISAS and MHI, therefore, developed a new blow-forming technique, which has high flexibility in terms of tank size because it requires a furnace but not a hot-press machine. Some typical propulsion tanks fabricated through this process are presented.
E. Sato et al., "Superplastic Titanium Tanks for Propulsion System of Satellites", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 551-552, pp. 43-48, 2007