Norsk Titanium’s proprietary “Rapid Plasma Deposition” (RPD) additive manufacturing (AM) process is distinguished in the aviation industry for producing complex, titanium structural and safety-critical components for many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). But today, through a partnership with SAE International, Norsk’s RPD process and material requirement specifications are available to a wider, global base of manufacturers.
Developed within the SAE Additive Manufacturing Committee (SAE AMS-AM), a new series of SAE aerospace materials specifications include the first standards for direct energy deposition additive manufacturing. The specifications establish the minimum basis required for the procurement of RPD Preforms from Norsk by an aerospace or non-aerospace customer.
In addition, these specifications support the regulatory certification process by ensuring consistent process and quality control. The release of AMS7004 Titanium Alloy Preforms from Plasma Arc Directed Energy Deposition Additive Manufacturing on Substrate Ti-6Al-4V Stress Relieved and AMS7005 Wire Fed Plasma Arc Directed Energy Deposition Additive Manufacturing Process are milestone achievements for the metal additive manufacturing industry.
Learn more about SAE International aerospace additive manufacturing standards
“Our engineers have thoroughly enjoyed working with the SAE team to validate our proprietary process with the engineering community,” says Norsk President and CEO, Michael Canario. “RPD is truly a disruptive process to the current subtractive manufacturing industry with wide benefits supporting not only the supplier, but the end-user.”
(Image courtesy: Norsk Titanium)
Plattsburgh, New York-based Norsk Titanium is a tier-1 supplier to Boeing and is committed to cost-reducing aerostructures and jet engines for the world’s premier aerospace manufacturers. Norsk’s RPD process is the world’s first Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved, 3D-printing solution for structural titanium and delivers substantial lead-time and cost savings for aerospace, defense and commercial customers.
Through the RPD process, titanium wire is melted and built up in layers to an a near-net-shape component in an inert, argon gas environment. The process is monitored more than 600 times per second for quality assurance. According to Norsk, the component requires less machining and has a 50 to 75 percent improvement in “buy-to-fly” ratio – or the weight of raw material compared to the weight of a finished part – compared with conventional manufacturing methods.
“Given that advanced materials and advanced manufacturing are strategic focus areas for SAE International, we continue to support the aerospace industry’s advances and adoption of additive manufacturing technologies. As well as contributing vital technical expertise, Norsk Titanium played a leadership role as document sponsor in the development of the groundbreaking new specifications and along with the other [SAE Additive Manufacturing Committee] output, these new material and process specifications help address the regulatory authorities’ request for guidance material for this critical emerging technology,” says David Alexander, director of Aerospace Standards at SAE International.
Established by aerospace industry leaders in 2015 and supported by a FAA tasking request, SAE’s Additive Manufacturing Committee continues to develop aerospace material specifications for metal and polymer AM to support the needs of the aerospace industry. AMS7004 and AMS7005 mark the sixth and seventh AM standards released by SAE International.
Over 500 global participants from more than 20 countries representing aircraft, spacecraft, and engine OEMs, material suppliers, operators, equipment/system suppliers, service providers, regulatory authorities, and defense agencies are involved in the committee.
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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.
Contact him regarding any article or collaboration ideas by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.