Europe’s Top Air & Space Companies Hold Additive Manufacturing Summit at Norsk Titanium
E.U. delegates from Airbus, Bombardier, Thales, European Space Agency witness Norsk’s Rapid Plasma Deposition™ produce aerospace-grade structural components
OSLO, NORWAY — December 3, 2015 — Norsk Titanium AS (NTi), the world’s only supplier of aerospace-grade, additive manufactured, structural titanium components, hosted a European additive manufacturing summit on December 1st at its Technology Center in Oslo, Norway. Norsk executives granted unprecedented access to the company’s patented Rapid Plasma Deposition™ (RPD™ ) process to aerospace participants of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) €20 million AMAZE initiative.
NTi owns and operates the only wire-based additive manufacturing factory in ESA’s cooperative program, Additive Manufacturing Aiming Towards Zero Waste & Efficient Production of High-Tech Metal Products (AMAZE), which is Europe’s largest working team on the subject of metal additive manufacturing.
“Norsk Titanium is pleased to host our AMAZE partners and provide the first-ever insider’s look into the production phase of our RPD™ technology,” said NTi Chief Executive Officer Warren M. Boley, Jr. “We are revolutionizing the metal manufacturing industry with radically less expensive aerospace-grade titanium components, and our participation in AMAZE allows collaboration with European manufacturers and early access to our technology.”
The overarching goal of AMAZE is to rapidly produce large, defect-free, additively-manufactured components, ideally with close to zero waste, for use in the European high-tech industries, such as aeronautics, space, nuclear fusion, automotive, and tooling. The project, launched in 2013 by David Jarvis of the ESA, is supported by 9 European countries and 28 active partners, including 19 industrial companies, 8 universities, and 1 intergovernmental agency.
The AMAZE companies had the opportunity to watch a live demonstration of NTi’s 4th generation RPD™ machine produce a unique structural titanium spar for one of the world’s largest commercial aircraft manufacturers. The aircraft part was produced in a fraction of the time and cost of the forging process being replaced by NTi’s proprietary technology, which uses plasma to melt titanium wire in an inert argon atmosphere to be precisely and rapidly built up in layers to a near-net-shape that requires very little finish machining.
Since 2007, NTi has been working to develop and commercialize additive manufactured, aerospace-grade titanium components to generate unprecedented savings in time and cost over legacy forging and machining operations. The company’s full rate production machines are the result of 9 years of research and each can produce 22 metric tons of aerospace-grade titanium parts per year. In 2016, NTi will break ground in the U.S. on the world’s first industrial-scale additive manufacturing facility for aerospace production.