Advanced 3D printed titanium enables lighter, stronger, complex parts for improved J-20 stealth fighter plane components

China is 3d printing titanium parts for a new fighter aircraft, which would have been impossible to create as a single piece using any subtractive manufacturing technique. In the past, the only method was to reduce the design standards, split it into multiple parts, and then assemble it, affecting the performance of the fighter and shortening its life cycle. Zhang Haiou and his team have used their new technology to 3D print TC4 titanium alloy parts whose tensile strength, yield strength, ductility, and toughness are much better than the traditional forging parts.

Previous 3d printed titanium part

China’s new 3d titanium printing are a micro Forging and Casting Sync Composite Device. The technology is smart micro casting and forging.

The technology combines metal casting and forging technology to significantly improve the strength and ductility of metal molds, thereby expanding their service lives and reliability. Combining 3D printing, casting and forging also contributes to stronger parts and added toughness; improved product lifecycles and better reliability, according to the inventors.

The team said its smart micro casting and forging is an innovation will be useful in the aerospace, manufacturing and automotive industries, among others. The technology can also be used to create thin-walled metal components that can be used in jet aircraft.

SOURCES – 3der