Norsk Titanium uses Rapid Plasma Deposition™ to deliver Boeing 787 components to Leonardo

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Rapid Plasma Deposition™
Above: Norsk Titanium delivers Boeing 787 components to Leonardo/Image Source: Norsk Titanium

Norsk Titanium US Inc. (Norsk), a global leader in additive manufacturing of aerospace-grade titanium components, announced production deliveries of new Boeing 787 Dreamliner components to Leonardo’s Grottaglie Plant, based in South Italy and part of Leonardo’s Aerostructures Division using its Rapid Plasma Deposition™ technology.

This delivery marks the addition of a third production customer to Norsk’s growing commercial aerostructures customer base and represents Norsk’s first recurring production order from a European Union based Aerospace company.

Using Norsk’s revolutionary Rapid Plasma Deposition™ (RPD™) process, Norsk engineers designed Ti-6Al-4V preforms that reduced raw material needs by over 40 percent. Leveraging the RPD™ industrial process enabled Norsk to create a near-net-shape design, while maintaining the stringent process control and material properties needed for structural applications in Boeing 787 aircraft.

Rapid Plasma Deposition™ (RPD™)

Rapid Plasma Deposition
Above: Norsk Titanium inside view of a Rapid Plasma Deposition™ MERKE IV™ machine/Image Source: Norsk Titanium

Norsk Titanium is completely focused on metallurgy since the very beginning. The superior metallurgy expertise is clearly visible across part geometries, RPD™ machines, and Norsk Titanium sites in the United States and Europe.

From a long time, forging is considered as one of the major production technology to manufacture strong parts. Through Norsk Titanium’s patented Rapid Plasma Deposition™ (RPD™) process, titanium can be utilised to manufacture parts previously not possible. It also simplifies the entire process flow.

In the Rapid Plasma Deposition process, titanium wire is precisely melted with an inert gas, like argon, environment. This melted metal is then rapidly built up in subsequent layers, just like in case of any additive manufacturing method, to a near-net-shape product. The resulting product has greater strength and durability compared to regular forge-based approach. More importantly, the product requires significantly less machining with the final part delivered in an on-demand environment.

Speaking about the delivery, Karl Fossum, director of customer programs for Norsk said, “We are pleased to be Leonardo’s supplier. This delivery marks a significant increase in the number of additively manufactured parts previously manufactured from titanium plate. It also is an important step towards our mission to provide an alternative to titanium forgings in aerospace applications.”

About Norsk Titanium: Norsk Titanium is the world’s pioneering supplier of aerospace-grade, additive manufactured, structural titanium components. The company is distinguished in the aviation industry by its patented Rapid Plasma Deposition™ (RPD™) process that transforms titanium wire into complex components suitable for structural and safety-critical applications.

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