Fabrication of Titanium Aerospace Hardware using Elevated Temperature Forming Processes
Titanium is a difficult material to fabricate into complex configurations. There is several elevated temperature forming processes available to produce titanium components for aerospace applications. The processes to be discussed are Superplastic Forming (SPF), hot forming and creep forming. SPF uses a tool that contains the required configuration and seals around the periphery so inert gas pressure can be used to form the material. Of the processes to be discussed, this is the one that can produce the most complex shapes containing the tightest radii. A variation of the process combines an SPF operation with diffusion bonding (SPF/DB) of two or more pieces of titanium together to produce integrally stiffened structure containing very few fasteners. Another process for shaping titanium is hot forming. In this process, matched metal tools, offset by the thickness of the starting material, are used to form the part contour at elevated temperature.