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05 June 2017

Open day for aero parts research

The linear friction welding process in action.
An open day to showcase a research project backed by Innovate UK for developing cost-effective titanium alloy structural airframe parts takes place in the Midlands this month.

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 for 29 June 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.

They have studied more than 170 aircraft components, with support from several OEMs, as part of the £2.6 million project and identified that manufacturers could save more than 200 tonnes of titanium a year.

Says KUKA senior programme manager Sanjiv Mann: "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.”

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.

For further details about the open day, click here.

Adam Offord

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