Norway has a new method of making titanium parts. The basic method involves feeding wire-shaped pieces of titanium into a machine for smelting. But first specifications are entered into a computer program in the machine which determines the resulting shape of the components. The process produces components that can range from five centimeters to nearly two meters in length.
Minimal waste – fast production
The traditional method of producing components of titanium involves using forged plates, blocks or rods depending on the product specifications. These are then shaped into the desired components through machining.
This production method has two significant drawbacks:
First, machining can lead to as much as 70 per cent of the material being lost as waste. This loss is very costly, as titanium is more difficult to recycle than other materials and the price of titanium plates is NOK 1 000 per kilo.
Second, the production process is very lengthy. NTiC expects their new production technology to reduce delivery times by many months.
In addition, the company forecasts that material waste can be limited to 10-20 per cent and that their prices will be 30-50 per cent lower than those of their competitors. NTiC will also be able to produce titanium components of a much higher quality than what the industry can offer today.
Titanium is as strong as steel, 45 per cent lighter and highly resistant to corrosion. Having cheaper titanium means it can be used for more components for lighter and higher performing airplanes and other applications.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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