Q3 Issue 5, No.1
Bihlman’s research seeks to define size, scope of titanium ‘value chain’
As a speaker at TITANIUM 2014 in Chicago, Bill Bihlman, the president of Aerolytics LLC, South Bend, IN, will share his insights on current and near-term issues involving the titanium supply chain, or “value chain,” for the global aerospace industry, which represents an annual output volume of 130 million pounds of titanium. “The commercial aerospace industry is facing unprecedented growth and record backlog,” Bihlman wrote in the preview of his presentation. “This creates both challenges and opportunities for suppliers throughout the value chain. Titanium can be viewed as a strategic commodity. This industry’s health is of particular importance to both engine and airframe original equipment manufacturers.” An estimated 80 million to 90 million pounds of the overall annual global output volume resides in North America, according to Bihlman. He said closeddie forgings represent 40 percent of the output volume in the aerospace value chain, followed by plate (25 percent), bar (15 percent), with rod, wire and other components making up the 20-percent balance. Chicago-based Boeing Co., in its recent market outlook report, forecasts long-term demand for 36,770 new airplanes, valued at $5.2 trillion through the year 2033. Airbus SAS, Toulouse, France, with an outlook that runs through the year 2032, projects that air traffic will grow at 4.7 percent annually, requiring over 29,000 new passenger aircraft and freighters deliveries at a value of nearly $4.4 trillion. (See related story in this issue.) Bihlman pointed out that, in terms of an overall dollar value, close-die forgings make up more than half of the value chain. He explained that, due to the difficulty of machining titanium, most of that work remains within developed countries. “Hard alloys,” such as titanium, are likely to be 10 times more difficult to machine than softer metals, such as aluminum. He admits that, due to a variety of factors, it’s a challenge to accurately estimate the amount of work being conducted in Asia. However, he does say there is a growing level of titanium forging, machining and assembly being done in Asia, especially in Japan, South Korea, and Singapore (see chart). “China is quickly developing capabilities,” he said. “These are currently limited to domestic aerospace platforms and industrial application. They are in the process of qualifying the world’s largest closed-die press (80,000 tons), which they will use to forge the bulkheads for its next-generation fighter aircraft.” According to online reports, the 80,000-ton press is located in Deyang, the southwestern Sichuan Province of China. It’s believed that qualifying tests on the press began in mid-2013. Bihlman believes China can be a contender in “standard” grade titanium (i.e. nonrotating) within the next decade. Numbers and percentages tell only part of the story, according to Bihlman. His research is focused on defining the “critical path” for titanium in the global aerospace value chain, with closed-die forgings representing the most important structure. As such, Bihlman examines the alignment between the four major segments of the aerospace value chain: melt, forge, machine and assemble. “Each of the four points in the value chain has its own level for stocking inventory,” he said, noting that inventory flow is a dynamic process in the value chain, subject to a number of industry and geopolitical variables. When it comes to tracking the titanium value chain, one “given” to consider is its “relative inefficiency of the industry. That’s just the way it is,” Bihlman conceded. “In a perfect world, melting, forging, machining and assembly would be a closed-loop system, with a minimum amount of shipping distance between each step, and where you would capture the revert.” However, Bihlman said there is one system that does approach his “perfect world” value-chain scenario: the Ural/Boeing Manufacturing (UBM) joint venture between VSMPO of Russia and Boeing. Launched in 1997, in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the UBM alliance is a strategic agreement where the two partners collaborate to source titanium ingots (from VSMPO) and then produce mill product and closed-die forgings for critical commercial aerospace components. This alliance was further expanded last year with the “UBM 2” accord, which now encompasses the final machining of aerospace parts. This, he said, is a significant development between the partners, as final machining—achieving the precise, tight tolerances of required of aerospace components—traditionally has been considered a “strategic differentiator” and proprietary core competence. Final machining typically represents a “bottleneck” point in the value chain. Overall, he said Boeing’s investment with VSMPO in the UBM alliance, which is slated to run through the year 2021, was advertised as $27 billion over a 30-year period. He said VSMPO, the world’s largest titanium producer, offers Boeing multiple areas of manufacturing expertise and moderate labor costs, as well as the potential to create a “near” closed-loop production system. In addition, there are logistical advantages. VSMPO has the production capacity to produce 30 to 35 percent of the world’s aerospace-grade titanium, according to Bihlman. In addition, the Samara region of Russia is home to the world’s two largest closed-die presses (75,000 tons). Much like Boeing, aluminum giant Alcoa Inc., New York, has established a joint venture with VSMPO to collaborate on titanium forgings, as Alcoa seeks to diversify its business portfolio, putting greater emphasis on higher-value, engineered materials like titanium. Bihlman acknowledged that the global titanium supply chain is a complex system with a significant churn, ebb and flow. Generally speaking, as a result of production from previously announced aerospace backlogs, the North American titanium sector had been “burning off” inventories. “Now the inventory levels are going back up again,” Bihlman said. In the United States, 60 to 70 percent of annual titanium sales volumes are covered by long-term agreements for commercial and military aerospace production, leaving 30 to 40 percent for the spot market, according to Bihlman. There are other factors affecting titanium aerospace inventory levels. For example, there continues to be a lag from production delays for the titanium intensive Boeing 787 and Airbus 350 platforms. In addition, manufacturing rates have cooled for the Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. During his presentation, Bihlman also will discuss the changing business relationship between aerospace original equipment manufacturers and their Tier 1 and 2 suppliers. In recent years the so called “risk-sharing partnerships” have emerged, where companies like Boeing now expect their key vendors to make significant capital investments to take on more “ownership” of the manufacturing process—delegating responsibilities that include design and engineering of parts and systems, material procurement, and quality inspections. There has been significant vertical integration in the titanium supply chain in recent years, Bihlman noted. Industry executives acknowledged this vertical integration trend at the TITANIUM 2013 conference. Companies have made strategic acquisitions to “add value” to their product portfolio and manufacturing capabilities. It has manifested itself in major forging and manufacturing acquisitions made by RTI and ATI, both based in Pittsburgh, while last year Portland, OR-based Precision Castparts acquired Timet. Aerolytics, founded in 2012 by Bihlman, develops research analysis to provide “revenue/market share enhancement for airframe and engine original equipment manufacturers and suppliers,” according to a profile posted on the company website (www.aerolyticsllc.com). Much of his work focuses on tracking developments and trends in the global supply chains. He previously served as a senior consultant with AeroStrategy (now ICF International, based in Fairfax, VA). Bihlman was responsible for two major intellectual property initiatives, including the Aerospace Raw Materials (ARM) model, a forecast that has been presented at various business conferences, including SpeedNews and the annual International Titanium Association gatherings. He began his career in 1995 as an engineer with Raytheon Aircraft. Bihlman holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, along with master’s degrees in business administration and public administration from Cornell University.
Onward and Upward: Market forecasts by Airbus, Boeing offer insight for titanium industry business, supply chain
On the eve of TITANIUM 2014, the 30th annual conference and exhibition sponsored by the International Titanium Association (ITA), Boeing Co., Chicago, and Airbus SAS, Toulouse, France, have unveiled their long-range market outlooks. As commercial aerospace remains the largest business segment for the global titanium industry, company executives, suppliers and stake holders, throughout the length of the global supply chain, pay close attention to the forecasts offered by the two aerospace giants. Boeing, in its report, forecasts long-term demand for 36,770 new airplanes, valued at $5.2 trillion through the year 2033. “We project that 15,500 of these airplanes (42 percent of all new deliveries) will replace older, less efficient airplanes,” the outlook stated. “The remaining 21,270 airplanes will be for fleet growth, which stimulates expansion in emerging markets and development of innovative airline business models. Single-aisle airplanes continue to command the largest share of the market. Approximately 25,680 new single-aisle airplanes will be needed over the next 20 years. Fast-growing, low-cost carriers and network carriers, pressed to replace aging airplanes, drive single-aisle demand. The widebody fleet will need 8,600 new airplanes. The new generation of efficient widebody airplanes is helping airlines open new markets that would not have been economically viable in the past.” Airbus, with an outlook that runs through the year 2032, projects that “air traffic will grow at 4.7 percent annually, requiring over 29,000 new passenger aircraft and freighters deliveries at a value of nearly $4.4 trillion. The business forecast, titled “Future Journeys,” indicated 20,242 single-aisle aircraft (69 percent of units; 41 percent of dollar value) will make up the majority of the overall total. “Single-aisle passenger aircraft represent the largest segment of the new deliveries with 20,242 over the next 20 years,” Airbus projected. “The demand for twin-aisle aircraft will require 6,779 new passenger aircraft and 494 freight aircraft. Due to the growth in traffic demand in Asia/Pacific, it is no surprise that 47 percent of the demand for very large passenger aircraft (VLA) will be within this region. It is equally important to note that over 40 percent of all new aircraft deliveries over 100 seats will be within North America and Europe. Much of this demand, especially in North America, is for new, more fuel efficient aircraft to replace older less eco-efficient types.” Weighing the respective long-range outlooks put forth by Boeing (36,770 new airplanes) and Airbus (over 29,000 new planes), Henry Seiner, vice president of business strategy for Titanium Metals Corp. (Timet), and the chair of the ITA’s aerospace committee, explained there was some “apples to oranges” comparisons involved. According to Seiner, Boeing’s outlook considers all jets (except business jets) 30 seats and above and all freighters while Airbus’ outlook considers planes more than 100 seats and freighters more than 10 metric tons. “So although they do have some fundamental differences, for instance, (projected) growth prospects in Latin America, the 36,770 and 29,000 totals are not as far apart as they seem,” Seiner said. Vertical Integration Trends Regarding the status of the titanium supply chain for the global aerospace business, Seiner said that recent trends towards vertical integration and consolidation will have likely had a positive impact. He was referring to acquisitions made by RTI International Metals, Inc. and Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI) (both based in Pittsburgh) in recent years, along with Precision Castparts Corp., Portland, OR, acquiring Titanium Metals Corp. (Timet). “The supply chain should be more responsive to demands from the original equipment manufacturers as a result of consolidations,” Seiner said. “Rather than needing to hand-hold changes through the various sub-tier levels, (Boeing and Airbus) should be able to rely on the better integrated supply chain to help carry the ball.” Kevin Michaels, vice president, ICF International, Ann Arbor, MI, interviewed earlier this year, echoed Seiner’s thoughts on the vertical integration trend taking place in the titanium/aerospace supply chain, which he categorizes as mainly affecting Tier 3 and Tier 4 suppliers. Michaels noted the aerospace industry annually consumes in excess of $15 billion of Tier 4 products, the tier that includes titanium companies. This lucrative chunk of the supply chain provides the incentive for companies to position themselves with vertical integration acquisitions. “Downstream customers are trying to simplify their supply chains and demanding more ‘near-net shape’ and finished components,” Michaels stated. “By vertically integrating, Tier 4 suppliers are addressing this need.” “The industry has seen major consolidation in recent years and that trend is continuing,” Dawne Hickton, vice chair, president and chief executive officer of RTI International Metals, said. “The newly emerging companies are vertically integrated organizations that have the capacity to deliver solutions across the entire supply chain,” “There will be fewer companies doing more the business and they will be companies that have not only the organizational capabilities to deliver, but just as important, the financial strength to take on and manage higher levels of risk.” Reflecting on the outlook reports by Boeing and Airbus, Hickton sees opportunities and challenges ahead. “If the forecasts by Boeing and Airbus play out as predicted, it should produce enormous opportunity for the international titanium industry,” she said. “The backlog of plans on order is at record levels, and each of the advanced designs calls for significant amounts of titanium in the aerostructure and engines. But titanium suppliers cannot be complacent. The original equipment manufacturers have made it very clear that all suppliers will have to earn their way onto the new commercial airliners in the pipeline, with products and services that meet the highest technical specifications and cost effectiveness.” Distributors Adjust Brett Paddock, the president of the ITA’s board of directors, and the president and chief executive officer of Titanium Industries Inc., Rockaway, NJ, said the distribution market for the aerospace titanium supply chain, in recent years, has experienced lower inventories at most all levels—suppliers of finished goods; the manufacturing sub tiers; and the strategic inventories for original equipment manufacturers. However, demand is currently on the upswing and mill lead times are being extending, Paddock surmised. “We feel most distributors are now in a ‘buy’ mode and are boosting inventories to support this increasing (aerospace) demand, according to their minimum stocking levels, safety stock, and lead-time analysis.” Shawn L. MacLeod, vice president of President Titanium Co. Inc., Hanson, MA, shared his perspective on how the market outlooks by Boeing and Airbus will translate into business opportunities for the international titanium industry. President, founded in 1973, is a distributor of titanium materials (bar, billet, sheet and plate) and an approved supplier to Boeing and major jet engine manufacturers. “Right now there is a lot of material in the market place and it will take some time for those inventory levels to be driven down,” MacLeod said. “As Boeing and Airbus build rates continue to climb, it will have a great impact on the entire titanium market as far as deliveries and pricing goes. The mill lead times will go out, panic will set in, and we could see another ‘allocation’ put in place by the mills.” MacLeod said this, in turn, may impact non-aerospace titanium consumers. Taking the pulse of the titanium supply chain against the backdrop of forecasts by Airbus and Boeing, MacLeod said time-sensitive marketing knowledge is potential weak link. “Going forward, I believe the weak link for the supply chain is knowledge. Understanding what master input sizes are needed will help maintain inventory levels. Who knows what technology will be in place 10 to 15 years from now. Lean machining has greatly reduced the buy weights per aircraft. Just a few years ago many parts were being designed out of 4-inch thick (metal) with lots of scrap. With the technology we have today, many parts are designed using near net shapes.” Boeing’s Forecast Boeing’s forecast took into account global airline industry net profits, which were an estimated $10.6 billion in 2013, up from $6.1 billion in 2012. “Net profit for 2014 is forecast to improve further to $18 billion as economic growth accelerates and fuel prices remain stable.” Emerging business markets, led by China and the Middle East, continue to grow faster than the global average, with double-digit traffic growth. However, Boeing also noted that some emerging markets, such as Brazil and India, have seen slower growth due to recent economic softness and volatile exchange rates that reduced traveler purchasing power. “Weakening currencies in many emerging markets have also quickly and materially raised airline costs, such as jet fuel and financing. These higher costs, combined with growing competition, have led to near-term profit challenges for many emerging market airlines. Longer term prospects remain bright, as a result of the strong demand outlooks associated with growing middle classes and liberalizing air travel markets.” Commercial operating economics, which directly affect airline profitability, remain the focal point of development for aviation technology, a trend that should continue to favor titanium as a material of choice. “Fuel is expected to remain the largest component of airplane operating cost, so technology development efforts focus strongly on reducing fuel consumption,” Boeing said. “The latest generation of Boeing airplanes, including the 787, 747-8, and the upcoming 737 MAX and 777X, reduce fuel consumption by double-digit percentages compared with earliergeneration airplanes.” Hickton, during her presentation at TITANIUM 2013, provided specific titanium levels for major jet platforms (estimates that included fasteners): 180,000 pounds for each double decker A380; 145,000 pounds for the A350; 170,000 pounds for the 787; and 120,000 pounds for the 777X. Projections from Airbus In its market outlook, Airbus underlined the importance of both single-aisle and twin-aisle planes. “There are nearly 12,600 single-aisle aircraft serving as a key element of the world’s aviation network, enabling journeys to take place quickly and efficiently around countries and regions, as well as feeding the hubs who themselves enable journeys between continents. They represent 78 percent of the total commercial airline fleet of aircraft over 100 seats. By 2032, the number of single-aisle aircraft will more than double to more than 24,600 aircraft. Some 20,242 of these will come from new deliveries between now and 2032, with around 40 percent replacing older aircraft and 60 percent targeting new growth in the industry. A large number of these deliveries will come from new, more fuel efficient aircraft like the new A320neo.” Airbus expects North America and Europe to drive demand, as airlines look to replace their aging fleets. These two regions will account for a combined 46 percent of the overall demand for new single-aisle aircraft. Asia, with its growing inter-regional and domestic networks and demand, also will take a significant share of the market with 34 percent of single-aisle demand. “The future importance of the twin-aisle segment of aircraft is clear, not only because it will generate value from aircraft deliveries over the next 20 years, but because of the effort aircraft manufacturers will make to deliver aircraft, with the latest technologies, meeting airline demand, which has already created a significant backlog for these types,” the Airbus outlook continued. “Like the smaller singleaisle aircraft, twin-aisle aircraft also provide a varied and broad operational capability to the market. These aircraft take passengers on their journeys on high density, short-haul routes, like many in China or other parts of Asia, or lowdensity long-haul routes, many between the more mature markets and emerging economies. By 2032, the fleet of twin-aisle aircraft will more than double to over 7,000 aircraft, Airbus said. Asia/Pacific will be the largest contributor to the demand for growth in this market segment with nearly half of all twin-aisle deliveries over the next 20 years. In terms of the size of aircraft, the twin-aisle segment incorporates aircraft between 250 and 400 seats. The center of gravity in this segment is in the 250 to 300-seat category, which is expected to represent 70 percent of the twin-aisle demand, a market where the A350XWB, A330 and (Boeing) 787 compete today.” In addition to the market forecasts, The Wall Street Journal, in its Aug. 7 edition, reported Boeing and United Technologies Corp., Hartford, CT, have been quietly stockpiling titanium parts and inventory reserves, apparently due to concerns involving the ongoing dispute between Russia and Ukraine and the resulting escalating trade sanctions being imposed on Russia by America and the European Union. The dueling sanctions being exchanged by Russia and the West so far have not involved titanium. VSMPO of Russia is one of the world’s largest producers of titanium used in the aerospace industry. Closed-Loop Recycling Seiner also provided observations on the growing emphasis of closed-loop scrap recycling efforts. “Unknowns remain concerning whether the considerable progress made will be sufficient (to satisfy the revert mandates of aerospace companies),” he said. “Today there is more revert generated in geographic regions further removed from the melting locations entailing more costly and complicated returns to melting locations.” He said new cold hearth melting furnaces, which have come online in the last five to seven years, are capable of using a higher percentage of revert and recycling it back into more applications. John P. Byrne, vice president of aircraft materials and structures, supplier management, for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, one of the distinguished speakers at TITANIUM 2013, addressed an aerospace business forum in California earlier this year and reiterated Boeing’s emphasis on closedloop recycling as a critical element in the titanium supply chain. When it comes to sourcing titanium, Byrne said Boeing is looking to achieve a “system balance,” which takes into account demand, ordering inventory, and revert. Byrne explained that the closed-loop scrap recycling strategy mitigates market fluctuation and risk, keeps aerospacequality scrap in the aerospace market and supply chain, and “provides a steady supply of scrap to our producing mills.” In essence, he confirmed closed-loop revert systems will play an increasingly important role in the titanium supply chain. Last year Boeing recovered 8 million pounds of titanium and 13 million pounds of aluminum. For 2014, Byrne expects those numbers to increase to 10 million pounds for titanium and 19 million pounds for aluminum. When it comes to the guiding principles for Boeing’s expanding revert program, no scrap is left behind—all scrap is segregated and “treated like gold.”
Loureiro’s keynote address to examine challenges for aerospace supply chain
Sergio M. Loureiro, the distinguished guest speaker for the TITANIUM 2014 conference and exhibition, who serves as vice president, strategic sourcing and contracts for Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp. (UTC), Hartford, CT, will discuss current trends and challenges facing the titanium industry and its role as a material of choice for the global aerospace industry. In his presentation, Loureiro will review next-generation aerospace engine designs, which are challenging traditional titanium applications. He will point out that the use of alternate materials, such as organic matrix composites and super alloys, in engines is increasing. However, despite this shift towards alternate materials, he will point out that there are still significant technology opportunities for titanium, including increased specific capability, advanced manufacturing for high performance structures and improved temperature capability systems (coatings), all which will be examined during this talk. During a recent phone interview, Loureiro described his presentation as a “call to action” for the titanium industry, noting the advent of alternate materials being used for aerospace applications. “We are driving towards higher-efficiency engines,” he explained. “This is changing the architecture of jet engines.” As a result, there is a need for higher strength, stiffness and temperature-resistance materials in the front and back end of the engine. The titanium supply chain, he said, must be “more vigilant” in meeting stringent engine quality requirements. Regarding the focus on the global aerospace supply chain, a press release posted May 20 on the UTC website (www.pw.utc.com), reported that Pratt & Whitney recently has signed more than $10 billion in long-term agreements with more than 90 key product suppliers. These agreements, the release stated, will help to solidify the company’s manufacturing network as it prepares for an increase in commercial and military engine production (see story on the Boeing/Airbus market outlooks). According to the press release, these long-term agreements are designed to secure the supply of parts for the long term. The strategic suppliers will provide critical parts and components for all Pratt & Whitney products, including the PurePowerR engine family, auxiliary power units, Pratt & Whitney Canada engines, as well as the F135 military engine that will power the F-35 Lightning II. Loureiro was quoted in the press release as saying the company is sourcing for the large-volume engine and sparepart production. He also expressed a sense of urgency for supply chain participants. “Suppliers willing to invest in capacity and capability to meet our stringent quality, delivery and cost metrics can be a part of our joint journey of growth, but they must do so soon.” Danny Di Perna, senior vice president, Pratt & Whitney Engineering & Operations, also was quoted in the press release. “These agreements highlight the value of Pratt & Whitney’s ongoing capacity increase efforts and proven industry-leading products and technology. The suppliers who have signed long-term agreements offer the highest quality and best value for Pratt & Whitney’s engine components, and will provide secure sources of valuable parts for engines for years to come. These suppliers have committed to the highest delivery and quality standards to provide high-quality parts on time while meeting cost commitments,” Di Perna said. Loureiro’s role as an executive at Pratt & Whitney is to ensure the selection of suppliers with the right capacity and capability to meet the engine builder’s delivery, quality and cost targets. He has extensive experience in aerospace engineering, systems development, materials, technology integration, and quality. His most recent positions at Pratt & Whitney include director of materials and processing engineering; director of mechanical disciplines; and vice president of supplier quality, where he oversaw quality assurance, special processes and continuous improvement for the company’s entire global supply chain. Before joining Pratt & Whitney, he worked at General Electric Co. where he developed foundational, marginenhancing and disruptive technologies in structural, optical, magnetic, porous, luminescent and sensing technologies, from materials development to device integration. As for his academic credentials, Loureiro earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Lisbon; a Ph.D. in Physics from the Universite Joseph Fourier and CNRS in France; and two post-doctoral appointments at NIRIM-Japan and Princeton University. He has received 18 patents for his work and has written more than 70 technical papers.
Lightweight aerospace seat captures ITA’s Titanium Applications Development Award
The next time you travel on business or pleasure, and you happen to notice your airline seat is especially comfortable while sporting a streamlined, elegant, high-tech appearance, think about the joys, benefits and advantages that come from designing products with titanium. Gilles Duval, the vice president of procurement for Expliseat SAS, Paris, is the recipient of the International Titanium Association’s (ITA) 2014 Titanium Applications Development Award. Nominated by his colleague, Vincent Tejedor, the company’s chief technical officer, Duval and Expliseat were recognized by the ITA for the development and commercial launch of a commercial aerospace interior cabin product simply known as the “Titanium Seat.” Duval will receive the award at TITANIUM 2014, the 30th annual business conference, sponsored and organized by the ITA, which will be held at the Hilton Chicago, Sept. 21-24. Brett Paddock, the president of the ITA’s board of directors, served as chairman of the committee that reviewed Titanium Applications Development Award nominees. Paddock also serves as the president and chief executive officer of Titanium Industries Inc., a global distributor of titanium mill products based in Rockaway, NJ. “Each year the grant committee receives dozens of nominees for the ITA Titanium Applications Development Award and this year was no exception,” Paddock said. “In fact, 2014 turned out one of our more impressive lists of nominees. Expliseat really shined because their product touched on many of the award criteria, such as introducing a new titanium application, presenting a new design using titanium, promoting titanium to replace a competitive material, among others. Plus, the successful commercialization of their titanium airplane seat on an Airbus A321 really reinforced Expliseat as deserving the award. We are extremely pleased to be presenting Expliseat with the $20,000 Titanium Applications Development Award at TITANIUM 2014 in Chicago.” Winning the ITA’s Titanium Applications Development Award caps off a most successful string of events this year for Expliseat, Duval said. The company also garnered European commercial aviation certification for the Titanium Seat; signed its first contract and delivered product on time; and received the JEC award for its work in carbon-fiber composites (JEC is the largest composites industry organization in Europe). The Titanium Seat received EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) certification approval on April 1, indicating it meets European Union safety standards for the Airbus A320 jetliner series. Duval expressed his appreciation for receiving the ITA award, saying it reflects Expliseat’s “four years of hard work” to develop the Titanium Seat. “This is amazing. Our team is very proud and overmotivated for the next challenges. We are ambitious and never comfortable with being ranked second. This year was great for us and it’s not over yet.” Along with its ergonomic design for enhanced passenger comfort, weight reduction is a major selling point for the Titanium Seat. Duval explained that the seat weighs 4 kg (9 pounds) per passenger, while the best competitor’s seat is twice that weight and the standard seats installed in most commercial aircraft weigh around 13 kg (29 pounds) per passenger. Duval touted the cumulative, long-term weight-saving advantages of the seat, saying it offers an annual fuel savings of up to $500,000 per aircraft. He said that while the width of the seat is governed by the aircraft dimension, the Titanium Seat’s sleek design offers additional legroom at knee level when compared with a standard airline economy seat. Duval added that the Titanium Seat structure and fixation “are totally new for aircraft seat design: new shapes and ergonomics, new materials and covered by several patents. Regarding fasteners, they are regular and standard commercial aerospace fastener. All interfaces are standardized by aircraft manufacturer.” Expliseat’s first contract was to supply 220 seats to Air Mediterranee, a French airline, for an Airbus A321 aircraft. The delivery and installation was successful, Duval said. “We managed to deliver the seats without any delay and customer is very satisfied. We are a new company and we need to show that we are reliable and that we do what we say.” He said negotiations with another airline, to use the seat in a Boeing 737, are in the final stages of discussion, however he declined to provide further details. In the Titanium Applications Development Award nomination form, Tejedor wrote that the airline seat uses titanium “in a completely new fashion, as a combination with composite, to get a strong, light and durable structure.” When asked to elaborate on this description, Duval chose his words carefully, citing Expliseat’s desire to maintain its competitive advantage and not divulge proprietary information to competitors. There are 10 patents on the Titanium Seat program, all internationally filed. He said Expliseat subcontracts production of the Titanium Seat with major industrial companies. “We have high flexibility and a huge production capacity.” Seats are assembled at a facility in Toulouse, France. The Titanium Seat is manufactured through a combination of a near net shape process and machining. Duval declined to spell out details of the production technology, and said only that the carbon fiber composite and titanium are both “premium, aerospace grade materials.” He did, however, provide some insight in the seat design’s “new fashion,” saying that “in the process of shock absorption and energy release, both titanium and composite have their defined and precise task to do. Our seat is not just the lightest because we use light material. Each titanium part, in its defined position, has a role to play in the energy release process.” This new fashion mentioned in the nomination form also involves the use of titanium, rather than aluminum or plastic, on the seat’s visible parts. “The parts that hold the food tray are made of titanium—literally unbreakable,” he said. “We never want to have to change them because it’s broken or keep a stock of spare parts for our customer. Airlines complain so much about low quality armrest or food tray, so using titanium is a real added value to them.” Benjamin Saada, chief executive officer, Jean-Charles Samuelian, executive director, and Tejedor formed Expliseat, a privately held company, in March 2011. The goal for the company was to bring together innovation, ergonomic design and industrial efficiency in a single product: the Titanium Seat. Recalling the origins of the process to design and develop the Titanium Seat, Duval said Expliseat conducted a “deep analysis” of existing airline economyclass seats and market structure. He said most commercial airline seats are made of more than 500 parts and used only plastic and aluminum, so Expliseat identified an opportunity for a “clear breakthrough.” Using advanced finite element analysis design tools and specifying carbon fiber composites and titanium and the materials of choice, the company was able to create a seat by using only 30 parts—all of which reduce production cycle times and yield the abovementioned significant weight savings per part. Expliseat has no plans to license the Titanium Seat technology to other companies. Duval earned a master’s degree from UCLA, Los Angeles, in Civil Engineering, then began his career at Aubert & Duval, Paris, a division of the Eramet Group, where he contributed to the development of a new business unit, UKAD, which was dedicated to the titanium industry. Aubert & Duval is a producer of high-performance specialty steels, closed-die forgings and superalloys. His experiences included dealing with a partner company in Kazakhstan that produces high quality titanium ingots. After three years he received an offer to join Expliseat. Today the company has more than 60 employees. The company already has initiated a next-generation version of the Titanium Seat technology, which has the potential to find applications in aerospace and other transportation sectors. “What transportation industry isn’t eager for weight savings?,” Duval said, speaking rhetorically about finding new business opportunities to redeploy Expliseat’s technology. Addressing a broad industry perspective, he said the underlying mission for Expliseat is to inspire “an increased demand for titanium products. I believe some industrial designers don’t even think about specifying titanium because (they feel) it’s expensive and unaffordable. But if you use titanium wisely, then yes, you can get added value from it.” Duval said his hope is that the Titanium Seat, as recognized by the ITA’s Titanium Applications Development Award, helps to usher in a new mindset for designers, engineers and inventors, encouraging them to rethink the use of titanium to create the next generations of industrial products.
A snapshot of the many and varied companies who exhibited, shopped, and competed at Farnborough in July. This article contains information and quotes from the hundreds of news stories that appeared in Flight Daily News during the week of the show. The Farnborough International Airshow is an international aerospace exhibition held every other year, alternating with the Paris Airshow. It is a week-long event that offers a global aerospace and defense trade exhibition during the week, and an air show on the weekend. It is held in mid-July in even-numbered years at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire, England, just south of London. The primary purpose of the show is to provide a venue for buyers and sellers of airplanes, engines, and all things aerospace. Toward this end, the show enables airframers to present daily flying demonstrations of civilian and military aircraft to potential customers. It also provides wide publicity for the announcement of new developments and orders. On the weekend, it provides spectacular flying demonstrations for the general public. The Farnborough Airshow is managed and coordinated by Farnborough International Limited, a subsidiary of ADS Group Limited, where ADS is the acronym for Aerospace Defence Security. ADS is a trade organization that represents the aerospace, defense, and security industries in the United Kingdom. Farnborough 2014 set records with more than 1000 airplane orders placed during the show, along with more than 200 option commitments. More than 100,000 industry attendees during the five trade days mingled with 1500 exhibitors, with 115 new exhibitors, including countries Croatia, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, Thailand, and Tunisia. Seventeen countries had their own pavilions, with the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, Italy, and France taking prime spots with the most exhibition space. Morocco and Malaysia were welcomed as new country pavilions for 2014. Of the 1000 airplane orders, 576 order and option commitments were from a dozen leasing companies. Of these, 261 were for the Airbus A320neo (new engine option); another 20 were for Boeing’s 737 Max; and Airbus collected 55 Memoranda of Understanding for the re-engined A330 that was presented at the start of the show. Although some of these confirm earlier commitments and others are still be finalized, it is clear that leasing firms continue to grow their fleets. Leasing company Air Lease was the most active buyer, making commitments for 118 aircraft across five different categories. It was the first to go public with a commitment for the A330neo, signing an MoU for 25 planes. It followed with orders for both Airbus and Boeing new-generation narrowbodies, Boeing 777-330ERs, and more ATR 72-600s. Another leasing company, SMBC Aviation Capital, signed the biggest order of the show by committing to 110 A320neos and five current generation models. Qatar Airways spent the most, firming its Dubai air show commitment for 50 Boeing 777Xs and placing purchase rights on 50 more. Boeing released its annual Current Market Outlook at Farnborough, projecting demand for 36,770 new airplanes over the next 20 years, an increase of 4.2% from last year’s forecast. Boeing estimates the total value of those new airplanes at $5.2 trillion. Driving this year’s forecast is the single-aisle market, which is projected to be the fastest-growing and most dynamic segment due to the continued emergence of low-cost carriers. Boeing projects that 25,680 new airplanes will be needed in this segment, making up 70% of the total units in the forecast. “This market is strong and resilient,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With new and more efficient airplanes entering service, the growth in air travel is being driven by customers who want to fly where they want, when they want.” Boeing forecasts that 8600 new airplanes will be needed in the twin-aisle segment, led by small widebody airplanes in the 200 to 300 seat range, such as the 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliner. This year’s forecast reflects a continued shift in demand from very large airplanes to efficient new twin-engine products such as the 787-10 and the new 777X. It is easy to see why Boeing is so optimistic. Boeing and Qatar Airways have finalized an order for 50 777- 9Xs, valued at $18.9 billion at current list prices. The 777X order was first announced as a commitment at the 2013 Dubai Airshow during part of the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history. In addition, the airline announced a commitment for 50 additional 777-9X purchase rights, which if exercised, could take its 777X order tally to 100 airplanes, valued at $37.7 billion at list prices. Qatar Airways also announced its intent to order four 777 Freighters and options for four more, with a combined value of $2.4 billion at list prices. The Boeing 777-9X will be 12% more fuel efficient than any competing airplane. The 777-8X is more efficient than its competitor at all ranges, while providing for new network opportunities. Design of the 777X is underway and production is set to begin in 2017, with first delivery targeted for 2020. To date, the 777X has accumulated 300 orders and commitments from six customers worldwide. Airbus is also happy about its results, announcing its best-ever sales at a Farnborough Airshow at 496 aircraft. The A330-800neo and the A330-900neo are two new members of the Airbus Widebody family launched in July 2014 with first deliveries scheduled to start in 2017. The A330neo incorporates latestgeneration Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, aerodynamic enhancements, and new cabin features. At a time of high fuel costs, the A330neo reduces fuel consumption by 14% per seat, making it the most cost efficient, medium range Widebody aircraft on the market. In addition to greater fuel savings, its range is increased by about 300 nautical miles. Air Lease Corporation (ALC), the Los Angeles-based aircraft leasing company, announced an MoU for 25 A330-900neo aircraft, becoming the first launch customer for the new Airbus Widebody. ALC also announced a firm order for 60 A321neo aircraft. Going farther afield, Airbus reported that the Russian company Transaero signed a letter of intent to buy a dozen A330neos and eight more A330s. The deal takes to 121 the number of commitments for Airbus during Farnborough. AirAsia X, which signed an MoU for 50 A330-900neos, is the largest buyer. Three leasing firms – Air Lease, Avolon, and CIT Aerospace – ordered 55. Lockheed Martin is pleased about the prospects for its Joint Strike Fighter, now known as the F-35 Lightning II. More than 3100 F-35s are planned for the global fleet, and with more orders expected in the future, the total worth of the program is expected to be about $400 billion. Four F-35A’s were expected to fly to Farnborough, but the Pentagon decided to cancel because of an engine fire in a Pratt & Whitney F135 engine on an F-35A preparing for takeoff June 23 at Eglin Air Force Base. The engine fire was the result of “excessive rubbing between the third-stage fan of an integrally bladed rotor and an abradable strip lining the casing of the engine.” After inspecting all 98 engines in the F-35’s, officials declared the problem was not widespread, but decided against the transatlantic flight. Another reason for Lockheed Martin to be pleased is the Letter of Intent signed with ASL Aviation Group for up to ten LM-100J commercial freighters. The LM-100J is the civil-certified version of Lockheed Martin’s proven C-130J Super Hercules, and is an updated version of the L-100 (or L-382) cargo aircraft. Safair — an ASL-associated company based in South Africa — currently operates one of the world’s largest L-100 fleets. “From flying humanitarian relief supplies over rugged African terrain to transporting key cargo within Europe and around the world, no other plane can do what a Hercules can do,” said Hugh Flynn, chief executive, ASL Aviation Group. GE Aviation announced that it will open a plant in Alabama that will be the first in the industry dedicated to additive manufacturing on a commercial scale. In this plant, specialized equipment will 3D print the titanium fuel nozzles for the CFM LEAP engine. Production capacity will be 1000 nozzles per year at first, growing to 40,000 within five years. The plant represents unprecedented cooperation between GE‘s military and commercial businesses and the parent company’s research labs, which focus on new materials and advanced manufacturing. Avio Aero, Italy, a GE Aviation subsidiary acquired just last year, is also deeply involved with additive manufacturing of jet engine components. GE Aviation is developing the GE9X engine, which is being designed to achieve a 10% improvement in aircraft fuel burn versus the GE90-115B-powered 777-300ER, and a 5% reduction in specific fuel consumption versus any twin-aisle engine at service entry. In addition, the engine will deliver an approximate 10-to-1 bypass ratio and a 60-to-1 overall pressure ratio. Its lowpressure turbine airfoils are made of titanium aluminide. GE is also pursuing advanced technologies with other companies. CFM International, a 50/50 joint venture company between GE Aviation and Snecma (Safran), announced more than $36 billion in orders and commitments. The orders and commitments included more than 1100 GE and CFM engines, as well as OnPoint solution agreements for engine maintenance, repair, and overhaul. One such order is from American Airlines, which has selected the advanced CFM LEAP-1A engine to power its new fleet of 100 Airbus A320neo family aircraft. CFM values the engine order at $2.6 billion at list price. American also has orders for LEAP-1B engines to power 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which are also scheduled to be delivered beginning in 2017. “With its improved fuel efficiency, reduced maintenance requirements and lower operating costs, the LEAP engine is a great fit for our A320neo aircraft,” said Robert Isom, chief operating officer of American Airlines. The company plans to take delivery of 230 new Airbus aircraft from the A320 Family, including 130 current-generation aircraft from the A319 and A321 variants through 2017, and 100 A320neo aircraft with next-generation engine technology beginning in 2017. Continuing with engine sales reports, Pratt & Whitney announced that the PurePower Geared Turbofan engine family has more than 5500 orders and commitments. It will provide exclusive power for six firm Mitsubishi Regional Jets for an order announced by Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. and Air Mandalay, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2018. The agreement includes a comprehensive 12-year Pure Solution maintenance plan for Air Mandalay’s PW1200G engines. Viva Aerobus announced last October its purchase agreement for 52 Airbus A320s, the largest Airbus order ever made in Latin America. Viva selected Pratt & Whitney and IAE to power the new fleet. “The quality P&W and IAE stand for makes them a strategic partner in improving our competitiveness and continuing our growth while reducing costs,” said Juan Carlos Zuazua, VivaAerobus CEO. Rolls-Royce announced the first run of its higher-thrust version of the Trent XWB, the world’s most efficient large civil aero engine. The 97,000 lb-thrust Trent XWB-97 is the sole powerplant for the Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. The engine will begin test flights in 2016 and entry into service is due in 2017. The increased thrust is achieved through a combination of new high-temperature turbine technology, a larger engine core, and advanced fan aerodynamics, allowing Airbus to increase the A350-1000 payload range and maximum takeoff weight. In another partnership, Rolls-Royce and Snecma (Safran) welcomed the formation of a new British and French government Programme Arrangement that allows them to continue design work on engines for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), an unmanned combat air vehicle. The governments will provide $200 million to the six manufacturers teaming up on this project: Dassault Aviation, BAE Systems, Thales, Selex ES, Snecma, and Rolls-Royce. The power systems companies are participating through their 50:50 joint venture, Rolls-Royce Snecma Ltd., established in 2001. Negotiations for the second phase should culminate in a contract notification by the two governments in the last quarter of 2014. The selection of the new Rolls- Royce Trent 7000 engine as the exclusive powerplant for Airbus’s A330neo aircraft was followed by similar announcements from AirAsia X (50 aircraft), Transaero Airlines (12), and leasing firms Air Lease Corporation (25), CIT (15) and Avolon (15). The Trent 7000 builds on the marketleading Trent 700 to deliver significant performance benefits, improving specific fuel consumption by 10% and cutting perceived noise in half. Bell Helicopter announced that the 505 Jet Ranger X and the 525 Relentless are scheduled to fly this year for the first time. The more complex of the two programs is the Relentless, which has a maximum take-off weight of 19,300 pounds. Key features include a mostly composite fuselage and rotor blades, new gearbox, and for the first time on any civil rotorcraft, full fly-by-wire controls. The 525 is due to enter service in 2016, two years after its rivals the Airbus Helicopters EC175 and AgustaWestland AW189. However, Bell officials think that the level of technology it is introducing is so advanced that customers will be willing to wait. Bell showed a mock-up of the 525 in search-and-rescue configuration at Farnborough. The only deal it has revealed is a commitment from Abu Dhabi Aviation for ten aircraft. Bell also says that launch customer PHI will take an undisclosed number of 525s. Sales, or at least initial commitments, have been going well, having secured about 50 letters of intent in Europe alone. UTC Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp., has been selected by Boeing to extend its provision of complete nacelle systems for the 787 Dreamliner to include the 787-10 variant. The UTC Aerostructures business was awarded the contract to provide inlets, thrust reversers, fan cowls, and exhaust systems for both the GE and Rolls-Royce engine options on the 787-8 and 787-9 in 2004. As with the previous contract, the 787-10 agreement covers design and manufacture of nacelle systems for those engine variants that power the highercapacity version of the Dreamliner. In addition to the nacelle system, UTC Aerospace Systems also provides more than 20 proprietary components and systems for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner commercial jet. In spite of the world situation, VSMPO-AVISMA, the Russian titanium manufacturer, has signed a framework agreement covering the supply of titanium products to Airbus and other EADS divisions that could be worth as much as $4 billion through 2020. Airbus has been buying titanium from VSMPO-AVISMA since the early 1990s, and the new agreement extends the number of value-added products purchased in Russia. It covers the supply of titanium round and flat mill products, plus die forgings for all existing Airbus aircraft, including new programs such as the A350XWB. VSMPO-AVISMA is the world’s largest titanium producer, employing more than 20,000 people and exporting 70% of its products. The company says it might also machine titanium products to develop a vertically integrated titanium supply chain extending from raw materials to finished products. In addition, VSMPO-AVISMA and Safran have signed a LTA for delivery of titanium plates for the leading edge of the LEAP engine fan blade. The expected revenues from this Agreement will exceed about $50 million. “The objective of this agreement is not only to support the existing mutually beneficial business relationship between VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation and Safran, but also to expand it to include delivery of titanium products for a new project,” commented Mikhail Voevodin, VSMPO-AVISMA CEO. Safran is an international group of companies working in aerospace engine units, aviation equipment, defense, and security. The Group employs 66,300 people in more than 50 countries; the Group revenue was 14.7 billion euros at the end of 2013. GKN Aerospace exhibited the highlights of its work across metal and composite aerostructures and engine systems in the company’s new purposebuilt facility. These included the stateof-the-art turbine rear frame for the GE Aviation GEnx engine; a section of the all-composite rear wing spar for the Airbus A350 XWB; the recently completed STeM advanced winglet demonstrator; and the cockpit canopy for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. GKN also showed examples of additively manufactured structures and titanium engine components, and new optical ice detection sensors alongside established electro-thermal ice-protection technology. To take advantage of its extensive and fast-developing capability in additive manufacturing, GKN was selected by the U.K.’s Aerospace Technology Institute to lead a consortium of UK companies in a 3. year, $22 million research and development program called Horizon (AM) to further develop AM technology. The Horizon (AM) team includes GKN Aerospace, Renishaw, Delcam, and the Universities of Sheffield and Warwick. The program is backed and funded jointly by industry and the government’s Technology Strategy Board. The project is part of a major investment of $255 million in research projects to keep the U.K. as a world leader in aerospace innovation that was announced by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg during his visit to Farnborough. Horizon (AM) will take a number of promising additive manufacturing techniques from research and development through to viable production processes. These new processes will unlock innovations in low-drag, high-performance wing designs and in lighter, even more efficient engine systems – and lead to dramatic reductions in aircraft fuel consumption and emissions. Alcoa’s $2.85 billion acquisition of Firth Rixson brings together two of the world’s leading metals innovators and manufacturers of jet engine components. The move will double Alcoa’s content on all the world’s major commercial engine programs at a time when the supply chain is ramping up for unprecedented production well into the future. On a pro forma basis for 2013, the deal would have boosted Alcoa’s aerospace revenues by 20%, from $4.0 billion to $4.8 billion. “Our engine business was 33% of our aerospace portfolio; now it will be 43%,” says Olivier Jarrault, executive vice president of Alcoa and group president of Alcoa Engineered Products and Solutions. “Firth Rixson brings capabilities we did not have. Our forte is aluminum-driven with some titanium. This brings new expertise, especially in nickel superalloys.” In addition, Firth Rixson and Snecma, Safran’s leading aero engine company, have signed a critical supplier contract worth over an estimated $200 million initially. The long term agreement secures the supply of Firth Rixson’s closed die forged and seamless ring rotating components for the CFM International LEAP-1A, LEAP-1B, and LEAP-1C engine programs, from 2014 to 2023. “Parts will be supplied from our U.S., U.K., and Asia-Pacific facilities,” said David Mortimer, CEO, Firth Rixson. The company has also signed a ten-year agreement valued at more than $1 billion with United Technologies Corporation to supply engine and system components for UTC Propulsion & Aerospace Systems businesses Pratt & Whitney and UTC Aerospace Systems. Not to be outdone, Renishaw showed off the huge benefits of its metal additive manufacturing (AM) machines at Farnborough. “We are now working closely with many leading aerospace companies to help them adopt AM processes to produce complex, lightweight, fully dense metal components,” declared Renishaw’s Chris Pockett. “In the highly regulated aerospace industry, innovative new manufacturing techniques can take time to become accepted as standard practice and approved processes, but the potential benefits to the aerospace sector are huge, and we aim to be at the heart of this change.”
Metallurgist, Researcher and Inventor Dr. Paul Bania Wins 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award
As a fitting symbol of the respect that members of the International Titanium Association (ITA) hold for Dr. Paul Bania and his three decades of work inventing new titanium alloys and improving the melting and processing of the metal, the ITA has honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award for 2014. Bania received the award during the ITA’s 30th Anniversary annual conference in Chicago on September 22. “I was stunned,” Bania said about the honor. “If you look at the list of the people who’ve won this, many were my mentors. A lot of these folks I’ve known throughout my career. It’s an extreme honor to be recognized by the ITA and put on the list with those folks. I was very surprised, very humbled by it.” “I had the honor of calling Dr. Bania to tell him he had won and he was flabbergasted, to say the least,” related Edward Sobota, Jr., TSI Titanium, and chair of the Award Committee. Only 17 ITA members have received the Achievement Award since its inception in 2000. Eight of those past winners, plus Sobota, selected Bania from a field of eight nominees. “The Committee members were very knowledgeable about who has made contributions to the betterment of the industry. The Award is a very highly regarded honor for those who’ve received it,” Sobota commented. Michael Metz, VSMPO Tirus US, nominated Bania based on “his outstanding contributions to developing new alloys, refining melting and mill processes, and implementing these alloys and processes.” John Monahan, also of VSMPO Tirus US, elaborated that Bania’s contributions to the industry are “both well-known and clearly established. In addition, to many of us, Paul is still the very best technical communicator we have ever known.” During a 17-year tenure at TIMET, Bania participated in the formulation of eight titanium alloys and received four patents for melting and production advances. While there he served as Corporate VP, Quality and Technology and ultimately led TIMET’s R&D facility, stated Paul Allen, TIMET. At TIMET, Bania invented a simple, extremely effective method of reducing low density inclusions in rotating grade aerospace alloys, by shearing sponge to a small size that prevented the defects from surviving the VAR melting process. “I had an idea that I proved with some laboratory work to greatly reduce the incidence of these defects. As it turns out it worked and reduced the defect rate by over a factor of 100. We implemented it and put it into commercial use for as long as we produced that type of sponge. It turned out to be very significant because our defect rate was unacceptable and it turned into very acceptable,” he said. Bania also worked on the creation of a new generation of oxidation-resistant, high-temperature beta alloys that were first used by Boeing for aerospace gas turbine engine components. Dean Musi, NF&M International, explained “Beta-21S has been an important aerospace alloy for over 20 years now and is still the ‘gold standard’ for resistance to catastrophic corrosion by hot aircraft hydraulic fluid.” The alloy spawned a new generation of titanium applications in high temperature aerospace service and its usage on commercial aircraft is still expanding, Musi said. “A lot of times you get ideas that become patented but don’t become large or commercial successes,” Bania commented. “At TIMET, some of my greatest satisfaction came from the patents that were put into commercial use.” Musi also credits Bania with helping lead the industry’s R&D efforts into the 21st century. In the early 70’s, with cancellation of the B-1 Bomber, research was near dormant for almost decade. “The 1980’s brought a renewed interest in R&D and Paul championed the effort at TIMET’s Henderson Technical Lab. His tenure resulted in numerous new alloys and processing inventions,” Musi said. Other alloys he invented included Ti-5111, which is used for naval applications with critical strength and toughness demands and is currently employed on Virginia class submarines, as well as an alloy suited to new applications for titanium in automotive springs and axle components. In addition to the sponge shearing technique for aerospace grade melting, his process patents include one for pack-rolling of challenging materials such as titanium aluminides. In 1998, Bania formed TiPro LLC (in partnership with TIMET) to supply titanium into the auto racing industry, acting as both metallurgist and supplier to firms manufacturing valve train parts. “Most pleasing to me was maybe my 10 years at TiPro,” said Bania. “The company started at zero, nothing, and developed commercial relationships with customers and vendors. And I think it did a very good job of serving customer and vendor needs.” By buying and re-selling downgraded aerospace engine alloys, he enabled racing part manufacturers to source higher grade metal and mill product manufacturers to profit from material that would have otherwise been scrapped. “The manufacturers were able to sell material that was still acceptable for my racing market and my customers got higher quality metal to make stronger, more fatigue-resistant parts,” he said. “It just took one guy with an idea. I wasn’t a special guy. It just needed that connection. I became the titanium metallurgist for these companies, so it served their needs and it served a company like TIMET’s needs. It ironed out the supply chain. It was a win/win.” “His work with the automotive racing community brought a new level of technology for use of titanium in that industry,” summarized Musi. Bania built TiPro into a firm with several million dollarsin annual sales, sold his interest to TIMET in 2009, and now runs a consulting company, PJBTiPro LLC, in a relationship with NF&M, which in turn is owned by VSMPO. Bania continues to expand the automotive aftermarket and serve as the lead technical authority in the titanium industry, according to Musi. The ITA’s Lifetime Achievement Award was established “to honor and celebrate colleagues who have made a positive impact on the industry,” according the Jennifer Simpson, Executive Director the organization. In choosing Bania for the honor, said Sobota, “there was not just one item or one achievement he contributed. It was his many contributions over decades – different innovations, practical research that really made a difference. I wouldn’t say it was any single instance of what he’s done; rather it was a lifetime of work.” Bania received his doctorate from the University of Cincinnati while working at Wright Patterson Air Force Materials Lab and began his career with Avco-Lycoming. He is recognized worldwide as an authority on titanium metallurgy, has taught courses on the subject for ASM and co-edited and written numerous books, papers and presentations. He has also obtained the Russ Ogden Award from ASTM for distinguished contribution in the field of Reactive and Refractory Metals.
The Case of DB Cooper’s Tie
FBI Special Agent Larry Carr thought that he had been given an impossible assignment when he was asked in 2007 to take over a cold case from 1971. It was the Thanksgiving hijacking of a flight from Portland to Seattle by “Dan Cooper,” who parachuted from the Boeing 727 with $200,000 in cash. By 2008, he was sure of it. The FBI agreed: the agency had spent too much time and money to find a hijacker who had probably been killed when, clad in a trench coat, dark suit, and loafers, he leaped out of the airplane into a 200-mph headwind with a wind chill of −70°F. “He probably was never able to even open his parachute,” says Agent Carr. Back in 1971, the hijacking had been front-page news for weeks. A passenger on the flight had opened his suitcase and shown the stewardess a homemade bomb. “I want $200,000 in $20 bills,” he had announced, “or I will blow up this airplane!” (Other than that, she reported, he had behaved in a polite and friendly manner.) The plane had landed at Seattle-Tacoma airport, the passengers had exited, the plane had been refueled, and after several hours the $200,000 had been collected. (The FBI paid the money out of a fund put aside for such events, with the serial numbers pre-recorded.) The cash, along with four military parachutes, had been delivered to the hijacker, who called himself Dan Cooper. The plane took off once again, headed, Cooper directed, to Reno. However, the hijacker parachuted out of the plane somewhere over the wilderness in the state of Washington, in the middle of a dark and stormy night. When the plane landed in Reno, it was discovered that the rear exit stairs had been lowered and the hijacker was no longer on board. No trace of hijacker or money had ever been found – that is, until 1980, when a 9-year-old boy digging a fire pit found $5800 in the sand near the Columbia River. The serial numbers positively identified the bills as having been part of the $200,000. After the 1980 discovery, the FBI reopened the case, bringing in scientists who tried to identify how long the cash had been buried in the sand, whence it had come, and what its path of travel had been. Although several theories were advanced, and all had been followed up, no further trace of Dan Cooper or the rest of the $200,000 was ever found. The FBI had amassed 60 volumes of interviews, scientific reports, and other data over forty years, yet had not been able to positively identify a suspect. Therefore, with nothing to lose, and in an effort to spread as wide a net as possible without spending any more FBI money, Agent Carr did something unique in the annals of the FBI: He released the information they had collected to the public. This action resuscitated long-dormant interest in the case, eventually involving Tom Kaye, a Seattle paleontologist who decided to take six weeks to see what he could learn. Six years later, he and his Cooper Research Team of “citizen sleuths” have narrowed the list of possible suspects from “everyone” to “several hundred people who worked in the titanium or chemical process industry in 1971 at the engineer or management level.” This is the story of how they reached that conclusion. “We were able to accomplish what we did because Agent Carr gave us access to everything the FBI had collected,” says Mr. Kaye. Among this pile of evidence was the black tie Dan Cooper had worn but left behind in the airplane. As it turned out, this was the most valuable piece of evidence they could have found. “The tie had never been washed,” reports Mr. Kaye. “Therefore, it had accumulated thousands of tiny particles from everywhere he had been, primarily his place of work.” The particles from the tie are indeed tiny, as they are about the size of a human blood cell. Electron microscopes are the only instruments capable of analyzing such minute particles. However, back in 1971 electron microscopes were unknown to the FBI, and the tie had never been analyzed at that level. First the team looked for pollen, as that could indicate the geographic area in which Cooper had lived. However, instead of pollen, they found spores from the lycopodium plant, which is commonly used on pills to keep them from sticking together. The team concluded that he may have taken some kind of pills on a regular basis. As the analysis continued, they were shocked to find a tiny particle of titanium. “We knew this was a real insight, because titanium was new back then,” says metallurgist Alan Stone, a member of the team. “It was so rare that he could not have picked it up through casual contact. It must have come from his place of work.” He found a second titanium particle, but this one had traces of stainless steel “smeared into the titanium.” Smearing happens when a stainless steel nut is screwed onto a titanium part. The titanium was not alloyed, which means it was generally used for corrosion applications, such as equipment in a chemical processing plant. Particles of corrosion-resistant 5000-series aluminum in a spiral shape were also found on the tie. The titanium particles were the most significant discovery on the tie, because titanium was so rare in 1971. Most other metals would have been written off as contamination, or too common to be of any use. The additional finding that the titanium was not alloyed, further restricted the number of possible locations where Cooper could have acquired these unusual flecks. He must have worked at or had access to a plant that used pure titanium. This fact alone reduces the number of potential suspects to hundreds. A tie would have been worn by managers or engineers in metalworking plants. The spiral aluminum chips are only made by metalworking machinery. Since they were found on a tie, that suggests he was either an engineer or a manager who went out on the shop floor. Only managers and engineers wore ties in metalworking plants at that time. “For these reasons, we think that Cooper worked somewhere in the titanium industry,” concludes Mr. Kaye. “We know that he was north of the alloying process, and south of sand melting.” In 1971, the most common places titanium and aluminum were found together were chemical plants, or titanium fabrication facilities that built equipment for the plants. Less likely would be the companies that recovered scrap metal from these types of factories. In addition, at that time the Northwest was a “hotbed of aerospace titanium activity.” Although titanium was being produced and fabricated in other parts of the country, the highest concentration of production was in this region. “The Supersonic Transport was being worked on by Boeing,” recalls Mr. Kaye, “and several companies in the Portland and Seattle areas were producing titanium for that project.” Furthermore, Cooper appeared to be familiar with the local landmarks. During the flight to Seattle, he recognized Tacoma from the air, and commented that McChord Air Force Base was a 20-minute drive from the Seattle-Tacoma airport. Who was Dan Cooper? Witnesses agreed that Cooper was about 5 feet 10 inches tall, in his midforties. He requested that $200,000 be provided in “negotiable American currency.” This phrase is extremely unusual for an American to use, leading the Team to think that he was from another country. Since he had no accent, they think it is likely that he was from Canada. Another reason for this conclusion is that Dan Cooper was the name of the pilot hero of “Dan Cooper” comic books, which were popular at the time but sold only in Belgium, France, and Canada. In these comics, the story line frequently involved Dan Cooper jumping from airplanes. The Citizen Sleuths team says their research suggests Cooper worked in the titanium industry but did not work around aircraft because all aircraft titanium is alloyed; had very likely been in the military; and had worked with parachutes. He knew enough about aircraft to select a Boeing 727-100 to hijack. This aircraft had engines that were high and in the back of the plane, and an aft airstair that could be lowered in flight to make jumping easier. “We originally thought Cooper was an experienced jumper, perhaps even a paratrooper,” says Special Agent Carr. The reason is that he was able to don a military parachute with ease, a difficult procedure for someone who has not done it before. However, the fact that he did not demand a helmet or any other protective gear convinced them that although he might have worn a parachute while in the military, he must not have used the parachute. This could be the job description of an Air Force aircraft cargo loader, who would have worn a parachute while tossing cargo out of flying aircraft. The conclusion, until new evidence surfaces, is expressed on the www.citizensleuths.com website: For Cooper Sleuths, keep an eye out for a suspect from Canada, with military experience in airplanes. He would have come to this country to work in or around titanium metal fabrication. He was a gentleman, well dressed, and smoked cigarettes. He was not the type to shy away from medication and knew his way around machinery, as well as the woods. Most notably, he probably lived a normal life and had one big problem that required about $200K in cash to solve.
Aerospace Presentation Highlights from TITANIUM 2014
Today’s Aerostructures market is primed for expansion chiefly because of projected traffic growth and the need for more fuel-efficient aircraft to deal with rising oil prices. In addition, the ability of carriers to purchase advanced aircraft is enabled by today’s low interest rates. These factors, along with the OEM’s record backlogs and build rates, are the basis of a bullish forecast for titanium demand. Before addressing the future of Aerostructures, first take a look at the record-breaking backlogs for the two largest OEMs. Based on the stated build rates for the near term, and the implied monthly build rates for the out years from Airline Monitor (an industry source of data and forecasting), the current backlog will last through the end of the decade for many models. And when considering titanium demand, not just production, we can expect roughly 650,000 MTs of titanium demand over the life of that backlog. Backlog is important, but an even more significant factor over the next two decades is growth in world traffic. What’s interesting about this growth is not just the high rate, but which regions are experiencing the greatest rates of growth. Traditionally, the U.S. and Western Europe were the main source of traffic, but that’s just not the case anymore. The majority of the growth is in Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East, although the latter is a bit unpredictable. Other important drivers such as oil prices, interest rates, and aircraft retirements also contribute to the upturn in the market. Oil prices are now in a “sweet spot:” The price of oil is not so high that it precludes any profitability, but it is high enough to convince airlines they should purchase fuelefficient new models. Due to the cost of oil, as these newer models enter the market, a greater number of older models are retired, and earlier than in the past. Low interest rates make it easier for carriers to purchase the more efficient planes. Carbon-fiber composites applications increase because their low weight contributes to higher efficiency, and the use of titanium also increases because of its compatibility with carbon composites. Titanium and composites applications are both on the rise, as are all aerospace materials in the wake of record deliveries. For the near term, a complete shift to titanium and composites is unlikely: The materials on the 737 Max and A320neo are the same as their earlier versions. However, the 777X is implementing carbon fiber composites, although only in the wing, not the body. For now titanium is used in the tail section, bulkheads, wing supports, and fasteners. However, some recent aircraft models are more titanium-intensive. Additive manufacturing also contributes to lower cost, and is now being used for real parts. Airbus has partnered with China’s Northwestern Polytechnical University to manufacture titanium alloy parts by its Laser Solid Forming technology. Airbus is also researching additive manufacturing for making out-of-production aircraft parts on demand. BAE is researching the feasibility of making four-foot long titanium spar via additive manufacturing. Industry consolidation also impacts the industry. Aviation Week reports that pressure from suppliers is the impetus for Aerospace companies to roll up their suppliers, citing PCC’s recent acquisition of ADI. There have been other, more recent transactions such as Alcoa’s purchase of Firth Rixson. These and other acquisitions are shown in the nearby graph. With titanium-intensive manufacturing shifts, oil prices in a “sweet spot,” aircraft being retired earlier, and a forecast world passenger fleet in 2035 of 50,316 airplanes, titanium demand is growing. The Airline Monitor and this forecast declare that the demand is real, and it’s not just coming anymore. It is already here. This presentation discusses the new engine programs and forecast for jet engine deliveries, the demand for titanium in the production of jet engine components, and the effect of changes in jet engine design on future titanium demand. Titanium is used in jet engines for its excellent mechanical properties, ease of fabrication, and light weight. The next generation of engines will continue to use titanium extensively even as engine temperatures are increasing, in the effort to drive efficiencies higher. However, titanium is being challenged by nickel-base alloys, where applications are moving from the back of the engine to the front. Titanium has dominated the front of the engine for weight savings, but higher temperatures for greater efficiency now mandate nickel in these applications. In addition, composites are being used to replace titanium in applications such as fan blades and fan cases. However, applications for titanium aluminide are increasing because of its high operating temperature, which makes it suitable for low-pressure turbine blades. Boeing forecasts unprecedented demand over the next 20 years for commercial airplanes which represents a tremendous opportunity for the aerospace supply chain. For Boeing Commercial Airplanes, the role the supply chain plays in airplane production is critical. In 2014 BCA projects delivery of one billion parts to airplane factories in Washington state and South Carolina. At a time of unprecedented production rate increases, BCA relies on its supply chain for flawless performance in terms of parts quality and on-time delivery. Will Shaffer will share Boeing’s strategy for titanium use, and how that strategy may impact the titanium industry in the years ahead. Will Shaffer is the director of Raw Materials and Standards for Commercial Airplanes Supplier Management. Named to this position in 2013, Shaffer is responsible for $4 billion of annual procurement for all Boeing raw materials, as well as aerospace standards such as fasteners, bushings, bearings, and electrical components. He also leads Boeing’s aggregations strategies across the tiered supply chain with responsibility for both TMX (metals aggregations) as well as Boeing’s Aggregated Standards Network (BASN) for fasteners and other standards. Prior to joining Boeing in 2013, Shaffer worked for UTC as the general manager of the Sikorsky Military Completion Center in Horseheads, NY. He was responsible for all aspects of an 800 person site which did final assembly, modification, and flight test of Blackhawk helicopters for foreign military customers. Shaffer joined UTC in 2008 as the Director of Global Supply Chain for their Fire & Security division. Prior to UTC, he worked for McKinsey & Co as an engagement manager in Seattle. Shaffer is a graduate of the US Naval Academy with a Bachelor’s in Ocean Engineering and received an MBA from Harvard. He served in the U.S. Navy as a P-3 Orion pilot. Mr. Zimm will share ICF’s perspective on the following issues: What is the outlook for aerospaceproduction by end user market? What are the implications for newaircraft programs for advanced materials? What are the key trends shaping the aerospace supply chain in 2014? What are the potential challenges that additive manufacturing poses to titanium suppliers? Mr. Zimm has 18 years of aviation and aerospace experience in line and staff management roles. Since joining ICF SH&E, Peter has managed and contributed to projects ranging from sub-tier manufacturing and raw material demand to maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) engagements to aircraft technology and emissions. His areas of market expertise include strategy and market positioning for aerospace manufacturers, aerospace product and process technologies, and supply chain trends. Prior to joining ICF, Mr. Zimm held various Business Development, Marketing, and Sales management positions for Timken Aerospace and Timken Aftermarket Solutions. Peter co-architected Timken’s aftermarket entry strategy that resulted in a new division for the company. He managed the Aerospace business acquisition pipeline, supervising due diligence and integrating the businesses post-deal. Later, he worked in the business to promote multiple complementary product lines and revamped marketing communications to be more effective.
SpeedNews Executive Summary 2014
The fourth annual Aerospace Raw Materials and Manufacturers Supply Chain Conference, sponsored by SpeedNews and held March 3 in Beverly Hills, CA, offered a forum for speakers to share insights on changing international business conditions affecting stakeholders in the titanium industry. Supply chain issues were front and center at last fall’s TITANIUM 2013 Conference and Exhibition held in Las Vegas. Aerospace remains the largest and most significant business sector for the titanium industry. An overview of the main “bullet point” messages for the aerospace global supply chain, as cited by speakers: vertical integration has taken hold among major metals suppliers as they add downstream manufacturing capabilities; the aerospace industry, given the optimistic projections for order backlogs and sustained growth of global demand for air travel, will continue to be a lucrative market for metal groups like titanium and superalloys; trends in “rightshoring” have coalesced to form an aerospace hub in the southeastern region of the United States; the “center of gravity” for aviation business air travel is moving eastward to Asia; there are continued worries over the costs of fuel; and composite materials will see steady growth in aerospace manufacturing. Dawne Hickton, vice chair, president and chief executive officer of RTI International Metals, Inc., Pittsburgh, had the honor of being the first conference speaker, offering her thoughts on supply chain trends. Last September, addressing the TITANIUM 2013 confab, Hickton was candid about the strength of the links in the titanium supply chain. Considering the challenges posed by “unprecedented backlogs” in the global aerospace business, Hickton posed a question to those in the audience: “Can our supply chain, which is represented in this room, meet that demand?” During her SpeedNews presentation, Hickton cited recent business estimates, which indicate the world will need over 35,000 new airplanes in the next 20 years. “Of that number around 40 percent will be to replace existing, aging, less fuel-efficient aircraft, and approximately 60 percent will be for new deliveries in the growing emerging markets (especially Asia),” she said. The projections indicate “a strong and deep backlog, representing eight-plus years of production under current rates. And this backlog is spread across the world, across multiple airlines.” The New, Integrated Supply Chain Hickton said one of the single, biggest challenges to the “new, integrated supply chain” is logistics. “Successful suppliers are able to manage their inventory flow through the chain, cut out cycle time, and improve on-time delivery,” she said. “The larger the chain however, the more complex this becomes. As businesses improve their overall financial success, there exists opportunity for continued growth—either organically by adding capacity or by acquisitions.” She cited recent downstream acquisitions by her own company as well as ATI, and noted moves by other metals producers such as Kaiser Aluminum. Another area of concern is a projected “dearth” of talent throughout all links in the supply chain. In recent years, many leaders in the titanium industry have sounded an alarm on the need to attract a new generation of skilled workers and technicians. “More and more companies are turning to academia for sources of training and talent,” Hickton said. “Community colleges are the new training ground, and not just for degrees in engineering or materials sciences, but as skills centers for machinists and other technicians such as the computer sciences. Across the industry we need assemblers and fabricators, tool and die makers, and even maintenance workers. There is a dearth of talent across all industries, which further drives the competition for the right talent.” For example, she pointed out Boeing has estimated it will required 556,000 technicians over the next 20 years, with 215,000 of them needed in the Asia Pacific market. Finally, Hickton urged company leaders to drive a strong culture of innovation in their organizations, or else risk being decoupled from the supply chain. She explained that this culture of innovation will need to pursue collaborative engineering, which will require an extended learning curve. “What do I mean when I say collaborative engineering? We have had our engineers inside our customers’ factories, as well as our customers’ engineers inside our sites—designing and experimenting with nearnet shape prototypes. It is just this type of collaboration that leads to new parts being made through new and innovative processes such as 3-D printing.” The Reasons Behind Rightshoring Kevin Michaels, vice president, ICF SH&E’s Ann Arbor, MI, focused on “rightshoring” as the new “aerospace investment mantra” and a new dynamic in the global aerospace supply chain. This emerging development goes against a long-term trend of shifting manufacturing operations to low-cost, low-wage regions like China and other parts of Asia. Michaels said a new wave of aerospace investments is moving to the United States. The prime example of this is Airbus’ new 116-acre, $600-million facility in Mobile, AL, which is slated to come online in 2015 and will focus on the final assembly of its A319, A320 and A321 planes. Higher fuel costs, rising wages in countries like China, and concerns over intellectual property rights are factors that are causing aerospace OEMs to rethink their decisions on where to manufacture engines and jets. Michaels addressed the unfolding “rightshoring” development in this Feb. 24 column for “Aviation Week & Space Technology.” Aerospace supply chains are morphing. During the last decade, the trend was for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to send as much activity as possible to low-cost countries (LCC) to leverage cheaper labor costs. This contributed to the emergence of new aerospace business clusters in China, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey and North Africa. The trend was clear: Manufacturing was headed south (or overseas). But a funny thing happened on the way to the future. Chinese labor rates increased significantly. New, less labor-intensive manufacturing processes emerged. Governments in some advanced economies targeted aerospace as a growth industry. And in the wake of the Boeing 787 development difficulties, OEMs began to question the wisdom of loosely knit, far-flung global supply chains. As a result of these and other trends, supply chain strategies are now more nuanced: “offshoring” has been replaced by “rightshoring.” Consider that the hottest new aerospace cluster is not in China, but the Southeast U.S. Boeing, Embraer, Airbus Rolls-Royce and Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) have or will have established final assembly facilities in the region, and dozens of sub-tier suppliers are following suit. Investors are attracted by low energy costs; pro-business state governments; flexible, nonunionized labor; and access to the U.S. defense market. In the same article, Michaels identified the city-state of Singapore as another “rightshoring” manufacturing cluster. “Despite having a per-capita income in excess of $50,000, Singapore is banking on manufacturing to fuel its next wave of aerospace development. Singapore’s highly skilled workforce and outstanding universities appear to be tailor-made for advanced technologies such as additive manufacturing. The headline investment is Rolls-Royce’s Trent manufacturing facility, the first major aero-engine final assembly facility in Asia. This will facilitate a new manufacturing ecosystem in Singapore and neighboring countries.” He did acknowledge that, despite the recent rightshoring patterns, “China remains a magnet for aerospace investment, thanks to its status as the largest market for transport aircraft and the rise of its aerospace champions Comac and Avic. However, China is not the slam-dunk for new factories that it was just five years ago. Rising labor costs, the appreciation of the yuan, concerns about IP protection, and the emergence of new low-cost competitors in places like Malaysia and Vietnam all mean China will need to work harder for investments than in the past. The days of easy labor arbitrage in China are over.” He characterized rightshoring as a “churn” in the aerospace supply base that the titanium industry should closely monitor as a new ripple in the supply chain. “Look for labor-intensive manufacturing activities such as hand lay-up composites, simple sheet-metal fabrications, or basic five-axis machining to continue to migrate to low-cost regions, but high-technology fabrication and final assembly to remain primarily in advanced economies. The decision facing many suppliers will be whether to “automate, emigrate, or evaporate.” Vertical Integration Another key observation in the presentation by Michaels was the trend in vertical integration taking place in the titanium/aerospace supply chain, which he categorizes as Tier 3 and Tier 4 suppliers. This vertical integration trend was duly noted at TITANIUM 2013 as companies have made strategic acquisitions in recent years to “add value” to their product portfolio and manufacturing capabilities. The list includes Allegheny Technologies Inc.’s (ATI) acquisition of Ladish; Precision Castparts’ purchase of Timet, its most recent March announced agreement to purchase Aerospace Dynamics International (ADI); and RTI buying Osborn Steel Extrusions, Remmele Engineering and Aeromet International. Michaels elaborated on this vertical integration trend in a Sept. 9, 2013 column for Aviation Week & Space Technology (“Tier 4 consolidation is reshaping supply chain). In particular, he took note of the “unprecedented acquisition binge by Precision Castparts (PCC) that has captured the industry’s attention. PCC made eight acquisitions in fiscal 2013 alone, and more than a dozen in recent years to build a portfolio that stretches from Tier 4 through Tier 2 components. Today, PCC boasts revenue of $8.4 billion, and is one of the top two suppliers of nickel alloy, rotating-grade titanium, investment castings, forgings, fasteners and large structural castings. Its shipset revenue is an eye-popping $10 million for the Boeing 787 and $5 million for both the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER.” In his analysis, Michaels noted the aerospace industry annually consumes in excess of $15 billion of Tier 4 products, the tier that includes titanium companies. This lucrative chunk of the supply chain provides the incentive for companies to position themselves with vertical integration acquisitions. “Several factors are driving Tier 4 consolidation. First, downstream customers are trying to simplify their supply chains and demanding more ‘near-net shape’ and finished components. By vertically integrating, Tier 4 suppliers are addressing this need.” For some, this demand by aerospace OEMs for more near net shape components may be considered as long overdue, considering the “buy-to-fly” ratio for titanium materials. According to presentations at TITANIUM 2013 conference, the estimated titanium “buy weight” for each Boeing 787 is 170,000 pounds. Titanium industry sources estimate the 787’s fly-to-buy ratio of 6 to 1 means that, of the overall total, only about 25,000 pounds of finished titanium parts will actually fly on the plane, with the balance landing on the factory floor as scrap from machining, forging and casting operations. Spurred by aerospace OEMs to continually reduce cost, vertical integration gives Tier 4/Tier 3 suppliers the ability to weigh in on both ends of the spectrum—near-net shape parts as well as access to expanded closed-loop recycling to capture the high-value scrap. “Some $8 billion in raw material—80 percent of total raw material consumption—ends up on shop floors as revert rather than finished aircraft and aeroengines,” Michaels stated in his column. “Closed-loop raw material ecosystems are more efficient and greener. This is especially true for parts made from more expensive raw materials like superalloys and titanium. There are also product development benefits derived from vertical integration, including materials tailored to advanced production processes, and in some instances, shorter certification cycles.” Scrap is Treated Like Gold John P. Byrne, vice president of aircraft materials and structures, supplier management, for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, one of the distinguished speakers at TITANIUM 2013, concurred with Hickton’s observations on the vast commercial aerospace backlog and the lucrative supply chain opportunities it presents. According to Byrne, world air travel has grown 5 percent per year since 1980 with near-term demand from Asian and Indian flyers expected to accelerate that trend in the coming years. As a result, he said global airlines will need more than 35,000 new airplanes through the year 2032, valued at $4.8 trillion, with singleaisle aircraft accounting for nearly 24,400 jets. Recent press releases by Boeing indicate that pace for new jets is moving onward and upward. On March 20, Boeing said the first of its next-generation, singleaisle 737 to be built at the increased rate of 42 airplanes per month rolled out of the factory in Renton, WA. Boeing, in the press statement, said market demand remains strong for the next-generation 737. Since 2010, production has risen about 33 percent, from 31.5 to 42 airplanes a month. As previously announced, the production rate is scheduled to increase to 47 airplanes a month in 2017.” Much like he did as a speaker at TITANIUM 2013, Byrne cited Boeing’s focus on closed-loop recycling as a critical element in the titanium supply chain. When it comes to sourcing titanium, he said Boeing is looking to achieve a “system balance,” which takes into account demand, ordering inventory, and revert. Byrne said the closed-loop scrap recycling strategy mitigates market fluctuation and risk, keeps aerospace-quality scrap in the aerospace market and supply chain, and “provides a steady supply of scrap to our producing mills. He offered figures to track the progress of recycling efforts, saying that, last year, Boeing recovered 8 million pounds of titanium and 13 million pounds of aluminum. This year he expects those numbers to increase to 10 million pounds for titanium and 19 million pounds for aluminum. The guiding principles are that no scrap is left behind, internal or external, and that all scrap is segregated and “treated like gold.” As for other points on material utilization for Boeing’s supply chain agenda, Byrne said the aerospace giant will emphasize near-net forgings, optimized nesting of parts, and rough machined blanks, all of which are intended to optimize material procurement and reduce the “buy to fly” ratio of metals. Concurring with the observations made by Michaels, Byrne said Boeing supports “demand” management, vertical integration and consolidation to help meet future supply chain challenges. Boeing, he said, values ideas that make existing materials more cost effective, reduce waste and provide higher performance. As for new materials, he said they must “buy their way onto airplane platforms,” demonstrating cost benefits and superior performance. Michael L. Warner, Boeing’s director of market analysis, reinforced Byrne’s presentation and pointed to the strong demand for commercial jets in the Asia/Pacific region. Of that estimate of 35,000 new commercial jets, 12,820 deliveries will be needed for Asia/Pacific, with 100 million new passengers being added each year in emerging Asian markets. By contrast, the European and North American markets will require 7,460 and 7,250 jet deliveries, respectively. Overall, he said there were more than 3 billion commercial jet passengers in 2013. Jim Haas, director, product marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said the company achieved a “record setting” performance in 2013, with 1,355 net orders (the second-largest in Boeing’s history); 648 deliveries, the most ever in a single year; and a backlog of 5,080 planes, which is the most ever for the company. Haas offered a profile of Boeing’s highprofile jet platforms: the 737 MAX; the 787 Dreamliner; and the 777. He touted Boeing’s 737 MAX series, citing 1,807 orders with 34 customers. As for the plane’s design innovations, he pointed to the advanced technology winglet, which provides a 1.5-percent reduction in fuel, compared with 737-800 series. Boeing is on target to deliver the 737 MAX, with the design phase expected to be finalized this year. The plane’s build and first flight is slated for 2015 and 2016, respectively, with 2017 designated as the year the 737 MAX will enter commercial service. He said Boeing has delivered 122 787s to 17 airlines, and there are 1,030 orders. The plane, which has carried 12 million passengers, has a 20-percent lower “fuel burn” compared with the Boeing 767. As for the 777, Haas said Boeing has delivered 1,171 jets to 60 customers, with orders for 1,483 jets. The next-generation, twin-aisle 777X, which was unveiled Nov. 17, 2013 at the Dubai Airshow, will utilize General Electric’s high-efficiency GE9X engines. Production of the 777X is scheduled to begin in 2017, with initial deliveries in 2020. Advances at Airbus David Williams, vice president of procurement, Airbus Americas, Herndon, VA, offered a snapshot of the OEM’s titanium requirements, saying “every working day, Airbus products manufacturing requires 28 tons of titanium” (based on 2014 consumption levels). A single-aisle Airbus aircraft flies with more than 600 cast and 200 forged titanium parts. Williams said new Airbus aircraft models will require even more titanium, indicating the titanium input weight of the A350 is “18 times more important compared to the A330.” Airbus, similar to the supply chain strategy outlined by Boeing, will encourage vertical integration and closedloop recycling. He also pointed to Airbus’ plans to launch (in 2015) its A320-family final assembly line in Mobile, AL, which also was noted by Michaels. Williams said groundbreaking ceremonies were held in April 2013 for the Brookley Aeroplex plant, which is expected to house 1,000 “high-skill” workers.” The key message for the supply chain is that Airbus, in the coming years, will emphasize controlling its costs by focusing on reducing material waste via recycling and near-net-shape part production. “Be creative and propose solutions for optimization,” he said. “Help to manage risk by maintaining timely communication with Airbus.” Andrew Gordon, Airbus director of strategic marketing and analysis, said the 2013 Airbus order backlog, as of 2013, stood at 5,559 aircraft. Broken out by region, Asia/Pacific had a 34-pecent share of that backlog, compared with Europe (18 percent) and North America (12 percent). Emerging economies (54 countries) represent 50 percent of new aircraft demand over the next 20 years. Richard Carcaillet, Airbus head of strategic marketing, said that, for 2013 net market share, Airbus had 1,503 industry orders representing revenues of $225 billion, all of which registered as 53 percent of the market. Airbus’ industry order total, by categories, included 1,162 single-aisle jets, 299 wide-body jets, and 42 VLA (Very Large Aircraft) jets. Carcaillet also provided a status report on the Airbus A320neo, which will compete with Boeing’s 737 MAX. His presentation indicated Airbus has 2,610 orders for the A320neo. As for the new high-composite A350 XWB, information posted on Airbus’ website said the jet, as of January, has 824 orders with 40 customers. Descriptive literature on the website said that “over 70 per cent of the A350 XWB’s weightefficient airframe is made from advanced materials, combining 53 per cent of composite structures with titanium and advanced aluminum alloys.” Airbus stated the first delivery of the A350 XWB will be to Qatar Airways in the second half of 2014. According to industry estimates presented at TITANIUM 2013, the A350 XWB will require a buy-weight of 145,000 pounds of titanium parts. Caveats and Sourcing Freedom “Great Times…with a Few Caveats,” was the title of the presentation by Richard Aboulafia, vice president, analysis, the Teal Group Corp., Fairfax, VA, a organization, founded in 1988, which provides aerospace and military industry market analysis. In his talk, Aboulafia took note of the optimistic estimates of aerospace industry backlogs and passenger growth, but said there are “reasons to curb your enthusiasm.” In particular, he was concerned over long-term jet fuel prices. He compiled a list of bullet points, such as long-term air travel demand has grown at about 5 percent annually, with jetliner output growing at 4 percent. “For 10 years, jet output has grown at more than 10 percent; we’re at a very high base year. That fuel/cash price bifurcation (or split into two parts) happens once.” Aboulafia pointed out that the BRIC ramp-up “happens once,” referring to the emerging market economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China. “We’re going from BRIC to C,” he said, with “C” meaning China. “Our forgotten nemesis is cyclicality.” He said the primary risks to aerospace baseline forecasts are interest rates and fuel prices. He did note that Boeing and Airbus running neck and neck in backlog values. Technology was another area of long-term concern for Aboulafia. “What technology stimulants are in the pipeline after (Boeing’s) MAX and (Airbus’) Neo?,” he asked. As for his observations on aerospace supply chain issues, Aboulafia posted a March newsletter blog posted on www.richardaboulafia.com, addressing the note to “fellow aerospace component aficionados.” Aboulafia wrote that, “to create a good plane, aircraft designers need to be good shoppers. Just as airlines need the freedom to source the best planes for their needs, airplane designers need the freedom to source the best equipment at the best price. Since most of the value of an aircraft is in its components, and since most innovation happens in the supply chain, aircraft designers need to be free to buy the most cost-effective and innovative systems and structures, from engines to fuselage sections to smoke alarms. Sourcing freedom is a key factor in determining a jetmaker’s competitiveness. As a result, Boeing’s Partnering For Success (PFS) initiative may be a serious self-inflicted wound. Since the Orwelliansounding PFS began last year, I don’t think I’ve met a supplier who wasn’t either angry about, or scared by this initiative.” Aboulafia made reference to the SpeedNews presentation by Dr. Ronald J. Epstein, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “There was a palpable sense of ‘Boeing Fatigue’ among suppliers regarding Boeing’s ‘Partnering for Success’ program. Many of the suppliers we spoke to said they were at a loss as to how Boeing expected them to reduce cost to drive price reductions. The general thought was: ‘hey, we are not getting rich doing this, how are we supposed to give up 15 percent in price when we are only making 15 percent margins or less?’” He acknowledged Boeing is entitled to be aggressive in their sourcing terms. “They’re a business, and the company did go through a period where it was complacent with costs. But Boeing has been putting non PFS-compliant suppliers (that is, suppliers who won’t surrender their profit margins) on what they’ve termed a ‘no-fly list.’ This is effectively a blacklist of Boeing’s healthiest and most successful suppliers, from which aircraft designers are no longer free to source. PFS, and the no-fly list, therefore, could be more than just a self-inflicted wound that constrains Boeing jet designers.” In another illustration on the importance of sourcing freedom, Aboulafia cited two contrasting examples, Brazil’s Embraer and China’s COMAC/AVIC. “Both countries and companies have big markets, lots of talent, and lots of resources for an emerging aviation industry. The only major difference is that Embraer’s designers were given freedom to shop around the globe for the contents of their planes, with few local content mandates. China, by contrast, largely forbids its airplane designers from buying anything except equipment built by the companies who have agreed to transfer intellectual property to China. That often means they’re buying obsolete technology.” The results in this comparison, according to Aboulafia, is that Embraer “has produced a stream of hits, and it’s the only company in the world that has successfully entered the civil aircraft market since 1960.” China, he said, “continues to disappoint, whether it’s with the crash-inclined MA60 turboprop or the ARJ21, the country’s first jetliner.” Gijsbertus (Bert) Van Leeuwen, managing director, aviation research for DVB Bank DVB Bank SE, Frankfurt, Germany, said 2013 was a record year for commercial aerospace bookings, with 2014 also off to a Good Start. According to Van Leeuwen, factors likely to bolster the continuing order boom include global economy preparing for an upturn; relatively low interest rates; abundant equity willing to invest in aircraft; technology advances in aircraft design; increasing production capacity for commercial jets; aging, less fuel-efficient existing fleets of commercial aircraft that need to be replaced. Regional Jets, Business Jets and Turboprops Regarding the aforementioned talk by Epstein, the managing director, aerospace and defense equity research (“A View from Wall Street”), he noted commercial aerospace order activity in 2013 and 2014 has been strong for Boeing and Airbus, with their respective production rates ramping up, all of which signals a healthy near-term business forecast. However, he also pointed out that net delivery levels are “surprisingly low,” which suggests that these original equipment manufacturers “may not be overbuilding.” Epstein said that trough to peak, aerospace cycles tend to last seven to 10 years. “If OEMs are overproducing, the next downturn could be more significant.” Epstein echoed Aboulafia’s concerns over the cost of aircraft fuel, which he said remains the largest operating expense for U.S. airlines—an estimated 31 percent of operating costs for 2014, followed by salaries and wages at 24 percent. He did say fuel prices have remained steady since 2010. According to Epstein, a $1 change in price of oil has a $450-$470 MLN effect on pretax profits for U.S. airline industry (excluding hedging). As for regional jets, Epstein tracked the business activities of Bombardier Inc., Montreal, and Embraer SA, Sao Jose dos Campos, Sao Paulo State, Brazil. He said the first wave of replacement orders from North America has played out, with American Airlines’ firm orders of 30 Bombardier CRJ900s ($1.42 billion) and option for 40 more firm orders of 60 Embraer E175 jets and options for another 90 E175 jets ($2.5 billion). International orders could boost backlogs in 2014, with Latin America and China as the regions to watch. Embraer, he said, has been steadily gaining market share since 2005 with deliveries of its ERJ 190 and 195. Overall, the fundamentals for business jets are slowly gaining strength and total operations currently have improved to 2003 levels from 2001-2002 levels, but have yet to recover pre-recession highs. Epstein said that historically the year-end value of the Dow Jones Industrial Average is a good predictor of the following year’s business jet deliveries. Business jet deliveries are more tied to gross private domestic investment than corporate profits. Key drivers will be international demand and the impact of a weak U.S. dollar, with the current forecast calling for growth in business jet deliveries 2017. Philippe Poutissou, the vice president of marketing for Bombardier said that, for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2013, his company’s aerospace division had revenues of $9.4 billion, an order backlog of $37.3 billion and 37,700 employees. Bombardier currently has firm orders for 1,812 aircraft. The Canadian company also has a separate transportation division that manufactures trains. This group had revenues $8.8 billion, an order backlog $32.4 billion, and 38,500 employees. Poutissou said he sees a bright future for the aerospace market, as the demand for air travel continues to grow with escalating middle-class wealth, especially in emerging market economies. Bombardier, in order to be closer to the global growth markets, has extended its own supply chain, with its manufacturing network (sites and partnerships) outside of North America now extended to Mexico, Morocco, the United Kingdom, Russia, India and China. In addition, the company has regional support and sales offices in the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Germany, Australia, Tokyo and Singapore. He singled out China as having a “clear need” for regional aircraft. There are 185 airports in China, with more than half operating as smaller, Tier 3 facilities. According to Poutissou, the world fleet is for the 20 to149-seat regional aircraft market is forecasted to grow to 16,700 units through 2032, with a market value of $646 billion. For its part, Embraer has six business units throughout Brazil, three facilities in the United States, as well as operations in China, France, Portugal and Singapore. According to Embraer’s “Market Outlook, 2012-2031,” posted on the company’s website, Embraer said carriers in Asia and Africa are “discovering the enormous potential of 70 to 120-seat aircraft to build network connectivity with lower-risk increments of seating capacity. In the mature markets of North America and Europe, the 70 to 120-seat aircraft capacity segment has been providing much-need flexibility and efficiency to airlines.” In the outlook report, Embraer said that from 2012 to 2031, the “center of gravity for aviation will move eastward, most notably to Asia, and to some extent southward to Latin America.” By 2031, the company forecasts that Asia Pacific and China will be the world’s largest air transport markets, with 34 percent of “revenue passenger kilometers.” However, uncertainty looms on the horizon, mainly due to “political tensions” in the Middle East and the likely effect on oil prices. In the 30 to 120-seat regional jet segment, Embraer projects a world demand of 6,795 new jets during the next 20 years, representing a market value of $315 billion. In addition, by 2031, deliveries of turboprops with a capacity of 30 or more seats will reach 2,515 units. As for its observations on trends for the aerospace supply chain, there will be increasing competition and even greater emphasis on business efficiencies, according to Embraer. The company’s outlook report stated the airline industry would continue to face a weak revenue environment. “The search for efficiency is essential in order to temper cost increases and revenue reductions.” In order to reach the next level of business efficiency, the airline industry will need to evolve in three areas: operations, aircraft and infrastructure. The focus driving the new generations of aircraft will be fuel efficiency as a way to contain costs. One example of rapid growth in infrastructure can be found in China, which has plans to build 50 new airports during the next five years as a way to ease air traffic congestion. Embraer sees the need for 1,005 new 30 to 120-seat jets in China during the next 20 years, along with deliveries of 120 turboprops. Composite Material Trends As demonstrated on Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, the use of advanced composites structures on commercial jets has boosted applications for titanium. Michael Blair, vice president and general manager of Exelis Aerostructures, McLean, VA, discussed “The Transformation of Materials within the Aerospace Industry.” Blair offered a chart that tracked carbon fiber demand in aerospace. Demand for commercial aircraft will be 7,910 metric tons in 2015, climbing to 13,290 metric tons in 2020; business aircraft 590 metric tons and 720 metric tons; and jet engines, 1,660 metric tons and 1,1930 metric tons. He said the composite value chain has five links: fibers, resins and raw materials; prepregs and braiding; fabrication (hand layup, fiber placement, automated tape laying); integration (subassembly of primary and secondary composite structures); and OEMs (final assembly and integration of major structural components). As for opportunities and changes in the aerospace supply chain, Blair said “the long transformation from metals to composites marches on. Designs leveraging composite properties will get better with time. The integration of design/process/fabrication/assembly coupled with supply chain consolidation will drive significant industry changes over the next decade.” Exelis, on its website, describes itself as a designer and manufacturers of lightweight composite aerospace assembly structures, subassemblies and components. “For more than 40 years, we have innovated advanced composite solutions for defense and commercial industries in applications from large commercial transports to fighter jets and commercial and military rotorcraft. Our applications include both aerostructures as well as components for the engines that power them.” Exelis said its composite design and fabrication expertise can be found on Boeing and Airbus commercial aircraft, as well as helicopters and military aerospace systems. A presentation by Chris Red, principal and founder, Composites Forecasts and Consulting, LLC, Mesa, Arizona, “Advanced Composites Usage Transitioning from Market; Penetration to Organic Growth,” acknowledged the recent success in aerospace composite structures while adding a sober, somewhat cautionary assessment on near-term trends for composites suppliers that operate in the aerospace supply chain. Composites Forecasts and Consulting, LLC was founded in 2011 to provide clients with timely information on the advanced composites industry. The group specializes in research on the application and use of carbon fiber materials, as stated on its website. During his remarks, Red predicted that “for aerospace composites suppliers to avoid being trapped into organic growth, a number of key issues will need to be addressed, including the cost of component manufacturing; processing and curing speed; capital costs of new manufacturing capacity; assembly cost and integration; light weight and durability.” Fierce competition in the aerospace supply chain, Red underlined, continues to raise the bar. Red stated that, in his view, the current manufacturing paradigm being used by aerospace composites suppliers will lead to stagnation or a leveling off of market penetration for aerospace applications. He stated that in 2013 aerospace composite shipments represented nearly 19 million pounds of flyaway weight, or about 14 percent of total aerospace structures. By 2019, composites will account for only 18 percent of the market, he predicted, adding that opportunities for further penetration are relatively small until around 2025. The next big “inflection point” for aerospace composites, according to Red, will be the eventual successors to the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 families. It’s likely that these next-generation planes will have all-composite wings and other complex composite structural parts. He said composite fuselages are not likely for these planes, unless carbon-fiberreinforced polymers (CFRP) demonstrate a 10 to 20-percent cost reduction and achieve at least a doubling of productivity enhancements. Anticipated technology improvements over the next 10 years could allow for CFRP manufacturing costs to be reduced 20 to 30 percent. Cost reduction opportunities identified by Red include productivity gains that may allow for 4 to 8 percent drop in carbon fiber prices over next 10 years, even as resin prices go up. For quality assurance and inspection of aerospace composites, advances in automated, non-destructive inspection (NDI) technology could improve reliability and boost process throughput by 10 times, offering the potential to cut CFRP production costs in half. Typical current autoclaved-cured aerostructures for commercial aircraft can have a manufactured cost of between $290 and $360 per pound, not including margin, engineering, or other value-added services. Looking ahead, he said out-ofautoclave (OOA) curing of composites addresses many of the cost centers in manufacturing, but processes suitable for large structures traditionally have not been able to deliver needed properties. Achieving OOA curing has the potential to trim costs by 60 percent. “The first primary OOA structures for aerospace are starting to appear,” he said. OOA secondary structures already make up 10 percent of aerospace composite deliveries and by 2020 that level will rise to 15 percent. Red displayed a chart that tracked projected aerospace composites usage. According to his chart, the estimated global aerospace composite flyaway market was 15 million pounds in 2010, with a value of $4.9 billion. In 2015 the market will reach nearly 30 million pounds, representing a value of $9.4 billion. By 2020, the level will rise to almost 35 million pounds and a value of almost $11 billion. In summary, trends for aerospace composite structures, as outlined by Red, include CFRP deliveries growing annually at 20 percent between 2013 and 2017. However, market penetration for composites may begin to stall in 2018 and could last seven to nine years, until the next big “inflection point.” New programs will drive CFRP deliveries to 18 percent of total aerostructure volumes within 10 years, compared with current volumes of 14 percent. Enhanced NDI and OOA technologies could significantly reduce costs of CFRP primary structures, which would coincide with the introduction of successor single-aisle jets from Airbus and Boeing. Potential advances in these manufacturing technologies could double demand for CFRP by 2030, which may drive CFRP share from 20 to 30 percent of global aerostructures market between 2025 and 2030.
Aerospace 2014 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Presentations On Supply and Demand Trends, Aluminides, Highlight TITANIUM EUROPE Conference & ExhibitionThe International Titanium Association hosted TITANIUM EUROPE 2014 Conference and Exposition May 19 to 21 in Sorrento, Italy, as members of the European Union continue to work through economic difficulties in the aftermath of the international Great Recession of 2008/2009. Attendance at the gathering totaled 422 delegates. Speakers at the Sorrento gathering addressed the economic climate in Europe as it relates to the titanium industry. According to a May 15 report in The Economist magazine, the European recovery continues to unfold even though it got off to a disappointing start in the first three months of 2014, when gross domestic product (GDP) rose by just 0.3 percent across the 28-member European Union and 0.2 percent across the 18-state Euro area. Unemployment, which hovers around 11 percent, remains a concern. Forecasts from the European Commission suggested that the recovery would be modest for the remainder of this year and gather momentum in 2015. World Demand Trends Albert Bruneau, executive vice president of Vallourec Heat Exchanger Tubes, as subsidiary of Vallourec SA, Boulogne-Billancourt, Paris, France, sees steady demand for titanium from the nuclear power and desalination markets through 2019. Potential new markets include ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) and geothermal conversion. For new capacity additions for nuclear power generation, 2015 to 2024, Bruneau said China tops the list at 68 gigawatts (GW), followed by other Asian markets (16 GW); Russia and the Middle East (15 GW each); Europe (13 GW); and India (9 GW). By comparison, North American plans to boost nuclear power in this timeframe are 2 GW, with 1 GW projected for all of Latin America. He lamented that global forecasts for titanium demand remain difficult to predict because consumption per project is highly dependent on the application, while price pressures from competing metals remain an issue. For example, titanium continues to face challenges from stainless steel and copper for desalination projects. He said overall titanium consumption of one major desalination plant equals consumption of 25 nuclear power plants. The titanium consumption of one nuclear power plant is equivalent to three coal power plants. Capital intensive projects that require titanium often are subject to cancellations or postponements, while financial pressures and shifting economic conditions also create significant variables. As an example, Bruneau cited the January 2013 decision by Electricite de France (EDF) to shelve the construction of a 900 MW coalfired power plant in Rybnik, Poland. This new unit was expected to cost 1.8 billion euros. According to a May 2014 report by the online economic newsletter Banktrack, a new study is now considering the upgrade of four 40-year- old coal-fired units, which were to have been replaced by the new plant, as an alternative scenario for this industrialized region of Poland. Bruneau shared his thoughts on how the titanium industry should address market uncertainty in the coming years. “Reducing margins and decontenting may not be the smartest way,” he said. “Quite the contrary, we do believe that a clever way of developing titanium industrial market is to promote titanium as a first- choice material: convince engineering companies, addressing new markets and developing innovative products. Such strategy could lead to a market demand increase up to 25 percent over the five coming years. Yingjie Bu, Sales Engineer of Foreign Dept. of Baoi Titanium Industry Co. Ltd., Shannxi, China, provided a snapshot of the Chinese titanium market in 2013, comparing it with the previous year. The information provided reflects what has been perceived as an overall slowing of economic growth in China during the last two years. The total output of Chinese titanium mills in the principal categories of plate, bar, tube and forgings, which registered an estimated 42,283 metric tons in 2013, fell 13 percent from the comparable total of 48,387 metric tons in 2012. Production of titanium plate in 2013 was 23,370 metric tons, compared with 25,990 metric tons in 2012. In the other categories, bar was 8,900 metric tons in 2013 versus 10,000 metric tons in 2012, followed by tube (8,025 metric tons vs. 8,300 metric tons) and forgings (1,990 metric tons vs. 4,100 metric tons). As for domestic demand for titanium mills products by the Asian giant in 2013, the chemical processing sector captured 53 percent of the market, followed by power generation at 14 percent and aviation at 12 percent. No comparable numbers were given for 2013 domestic demand. Chinese exports of titanium mill products in 2013 registered 10,000 metric tons compared with 12,000 metric tons in 2012, while sponge exports in 2013 totaled 4,000 metric tons, compared with about 4,200 metric tons in 2012. David Hall, senior vice president-Integrated Value Chain of RTI International Metals, Inc., Staffordshire,United Kingdom, in his presentation “Commercial Aerostructure Supply Chain,” examined potential opportunities—a record backlog order levels for commercial jets—for the titanium industry. He explained he viewed international commercial aerospace titanium demand through the lens of the industry’s global supply chain as it has become the function of the supply chain that’s impacting today’s titanium demand. Overall, commercial jets represent a demand level of 40 million pounds of titanium between now and 2018, according to Hall. Titanium fits well with the new generation of commercial aerospace design strategies, given the operating efficiency mandates to reduce fuel consumption. Another factor propelling jet build rates is projected global passenger growth, with nearly half of the world’s air traffic coming from the Asia/Pacific region during the next 20 years. Replacement of older, less fuelefficient aircraft is another factor boosting build rates for the near term. Hall stated in commercial aerospace, the picture is very bright for titanium demand. Hall pondered that state of the titanium industry’s global supply chain, as mentioned above. Years ago, the focus for the titanium supply chain was on how many mill products, ingots, and billets that the industry was going to ship. “Today we are much more interested in the supply chain as we add value to that mill product, whether it is an extrusion, a forging, whether we are welding a part, finally machining a part and assembling it. Can the supply chain for the titanium industry meet the demands? There are lots of moving parts with plenty of opportunity for bottlenecks.” Supplier consolidation represents one of the changes in the new titanium supply chain. Hall cited Allegheny Technologies Inc.’s (ATI) acquisition of forging house Ladish, and Precision Castparts’ acquisition of Timet and Synchronous Aerospace Group. In addition, during the last two years, RTI also has been active on the acquisition trail and expanded its downstream operations with its purchase of Osborn Steel Extrusions (in October 2013), Remmele Engineering (in January 2012) and Aeromet International (in December 2011). He also identified scrap revert of aerospace original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as another aspect of consolidation. “It used to be you could tell what was going on in the titanium industry just by watching the price of scrap,” he said. “Not anymore. So much of the scrap, as a result of the supplier consolidation, is maintained within a closed loop that the impact of what’s going on in the public purchasing of scrap has less of an impact on how we focus on the demand for the product.” He also pondered the “far flung” logistics of managing a global supply chain as being a challenge for OEMs and the titanium industry. Offering one example, he said a mill product might start in Ohio; travel to Texas for an extrusion; go to Kentucky or Pennsylvania for further processing; land in Montreal for machining; and then end up in Japan or Europe for additional applications. Hunter Dalton, executive vice president, High Performance Specialty Materials Group and President, ATI Specialty Materials ATI, Monroe, NC, examined titanium demand and trends in the jet engine market. A graph by Dalton indicated air transport planes, produced my major original equipment manufacturers Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer, will surpass 1,800 units per year by 2021, compared with about 1,600 units this year. His chart indicated there would be a dip in production in 2016, which he explained was due to the potential change in order, shifting to next-generation, single-aisle jets from legacy aircraft. His estimate took into account the “secular” growth trends of titanium- intensive airplanes, which will make use of hotter-burning, more fuel efficient engines. In contrast to the moderate climb in jet units, Dalton said the aeroengine production market will be virtually flat at 10,000 units, from this year to 2021. This is a forecast of new jet engine manufacturing by General Electric (GE), Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce and CFM International, a 50/50 joint venture between Snecma (SAFRAN) of France, and GE. Total jet engines in service, including new and existing units, will reach over 70,000 units, compared with about 55,000 units this year, according to data sourced from Airline Monitor. As Dalton pointed out in his chart, “the larger the fleet, the greater the demand for spare parts.” Titanium demand will keep pace with aeroengine production, reaching 230 million pounds of “buy weight” per year by 2021, compared with 125 million pounds this year. Meanwhile, the growth trend for specialty alloy demand is expected to be flatter, reaching 140 million pounds of buy weight, vs. 120 million pounds this year. Titanium applications in jet engines will continue to focus on fan frames and intermediate cases, forged cases, compressor rotors, fan discs, forged compressor blades, impellers, vanes, form-flow shafts and fasteners. Applications for nickel-based superalloys include engine shafts, combustors, high- and low- pressure turbines, and high-pressure compressors. Global aerospace market trends that will steer the development of jet engine design and, in turn, define material specifications are: “greener” engines with reduced noise and emissions and improved fuel efficiency; higher engine operating temperatures; and lighter materials, all of which should yield lower operating costs and reduced maintenance intervals for cost-conscious airlines. “Evolutionary” changes in engine design will involve limited introduction of composites; larger thrust engines; higher consumption of nickel-based and titanium alloys per engine; the use of new titaniumbased materials such as gamma titanium/aluminum; and further exploration to define potential benefits of additive manufacturing. Ian S. Hodges, the managing director of TIMET UK, addressed “Opportunities and Challenges” in military and defense titanium demand. In his presentation, the showed pie charts that illustrated global military titanium demand, using data from Roskill Information Services, London (forecast demand for titanium mill products). For 2015, the forecast is 13.5 kilotons, compared with 10.5 kilotons in 2009. Of that 2015 total, North America and the European Union are projected to make up 10 kilotons of the overall demand, followed by China, 1.6 kilotons, and “the rest of the world” at 1.9 kilotons. As for military spending, Hodges referred to a chart with information from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s 2012 Yearbook. According to that estimate, military spending by the United States was just under $700 billion in 2012, far above military spending by China, Russia, the United Kingdom and Japan. The combined total military spending by those four countries in 2012 was estimated at $350 billion. Regarding near-term trends for global military spending, Hodges referred to a statement by Paul Burton, senior manager of IHS Jane’s DS Forecast, Englewood, CO, who noted that “two things are happening: Budgets are shifting east and global arms trade is increasing competition,” which will result in “the biggest explosion in trade the world has ever seen.” As such, the global arms trade, which accounted for $75 billion in 2012, will rise to an estimated $145 billion by 2020. The presentation by Michael G. Metz, president, VSMPO-Tirus U.S. Inc., Highlands Ranch, CO, focused on an update of the Russian titanium market. In particular, he provided an overview of capital investment efforts in “special economic zones,” which he described as a new aspect of the titanium market in Russia to spur foreign investment. Approved through Russian federal legislation, the establishment of seven special economic zones provides economic preferences and privileges along with safeguards against unfavorable changes in legislation of the Russian Federation on taxes and fees for the entire duration of the special economic zone for 49 years. “Titanium Valley” is located in the Sverdlovsk region, one of the seven special economic zones, is the scientific and industrial center of Russia and near VSMPO’s manufacturing facilities, Metz said. “The region is rich in natural resources, has a strong diversified industrial complex, great potential of scientific and human resources,” he told the conference audience. “There are mining and manufacturing companies, many of which are unique. It creates wide scale opportunities for the development of industrial cooperation.” Due to the support of regional authorities, Titanium Valley, as a special economic zone, will have one of the most attractive tax conditions in the Russian Federation, creating an attractive environment for business development. Metz offered several bullet points highlighting economic advantages in these special zones. Residents will be exempt from customs duties and VAT (value added tax) on foreign goods imported into the zones, such as equipment, raw materials, components, construction materials. The zones will offer attractive conditions for the construction and service of industrial operations. There will be administrative support to facilitate the principle of a “One Stop Shop,” which would simplify the interaction between businesses and governmental agencies to obtain the construction permit or filling the financial statements. The special economic zones will offer incentives for entrepreneurs to launch new operations. Metz explained that the first option will be for companies to build their own manufacturing facilities. The second option is when the economic zone management company arranges the construction of finished industrial infrastructure and buildings, according to the requirements of the resident’s project at its own expense, with leasing or the possible redemption implemented by the resident business. He also outlined Russian industrial market demand (as of 2013), using a pie chart that identified engine building, ship building and aircraft building as the three dominant sectors. Given the need for titanium in aerospace manufacturing, Metz profiled four businesses in the Russian market, all of which are joint stock companies (JSC): United Aircraft Corp.; United Engine Corp.; Russian Helicopters; and United Missile and Space Corp. Overall annual titanium demand for Russian aerospace production will hover between 7,000 and 8,000 metric tons between 2014 and 2020. Total Russian industrial demand for titanium, including the aerospace sector, will increase to 14,000 metric tons by 2020. Uwe Schneider, vice president, business development and commission processing sales, VDM Metals GmbH, Werdohl, Germany, delivered a regional perspective of the European economy and the titanium market. There are 47 countries in the European region, with 28 European Union (EU) member states, five EU candidate countries plus three potential candidates. Eighteen of the 28 EU member states have introduced the Euro as their currency. In recent years, given the backdrop of global economic difficulties from the financial crisis of 2008/2009, there was moderate concern about the future of the Euro. Based on the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) World Economic Outlook, published in April, describing Europe’s general economic situation, it’s expected that advanced European countries, such as Germany and France, are expected to resume growth in 2014 with a low rate of inflation, along with a stabilized domestic demand turning towards a positive trend. Net exports will help ease the recession, but downside risks remain from incomplete financial reforms and external global economic trends. Meanwhile, emerging and developing European countries, such as Poland, Hungary and Romania, will see economic recovery weaken slightly this year, due to downside risks from financial market volatility. Schneider sought to define the reasons for the diverse structure of industrial distribution markets in the European Union, pointing out that there are many small, privately owned distribution companies for titanium products, which specialize in certain regional and/or application markets. He cited the presence of more than 47 different languages and explained that there are many distinct regional industrial clusters, such as medical, equipment fabrication, aerospace, and automotive. In addition, there are small- to medium-size companies that maintain the local selling advantage in these regional industrial clusters, which presents a challenge for larger sized companies. As for the European titanium market, he identified a dilemma regarding highvolume equipment such as cold rolling strip mills, hot rolling bar mills, rotary forges, and hot plate mills, with dependence on partners in the stainless steel industry. He said industrial concentration, both in supply and demand markets, has resulted in continued vertical integration. He estimated that annual demand for titanium in Europe is 20 kilotons to 25 kilotons, compared with European-based supply of 8 kilotons to 12 kilotons. “Being a net importer of titanium, demand for full-service providers (in Europe) will continue to increase to secure on-time delivery and supply stability,” he said. Major mill players with titanium melting capacity include VDM Metals, Germany (formerly Krupp , Deutsche Titan/DTG and ThyssenKrupp Titanium); TiFast, Italy; Timet Savoie, France (Timet, USA and Areva Cezus/Ugine); and Timet UK (Timet, USA, formerly IMI). Weighing factors for medium-term titanium demand in Europe, Schneider forecasted that the supply gap will continue to require imports of titanium mill products. He said production is shifting from raw materials to high-technology processing and equipment production and new technologies, such as titanium aluminides. “Consumers of titanium must prepare themselves for potential shortages of supply, based on demand peaks in other global regions or strategic political decisions, such as strategic stockpiles. Keeping raw materials in the regional supply cycle will gain importance as costs of logistics increase (ratio value of scrap/transport cost).” There should be continued growth of regional technology clusters. “Europe offers many advantages for high technology processing, based on an excellent highdensity logistical structure, demand and supply stability based on cultural habits, education base and emerging areas.” Yasuhisa Shibata, a member of the Japan Titanium Society administration committee, and the Senior Manager, Head of Department for the Materials Procurement & Production Coordination Dept., Titanium & Specialty Stainless Steel Unit at Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation provided a snapshot of Japan’s titanium industry. In 2013 Japan’s annual production of titanium sponge was just over 40,000 metric tons, with exports of about 17,000 metric tons. Overall shipments of titanium mill products, for the same year, registered 13,000 metric tons, with exports of 8,000 metric tons. Shibata said that while demand currently remains still very low in Japan, there are indications of recovery of for the Japanese economy. “We expect that the recovery of Japanese economy will have positive effect to titanium demand as well soon,” Shibata said, noting that Japan’s growing aerospace industry will help fuel demand for titanium. As for the global titanium industry, Shibata said Japan remains committed to provide a stable supply of high-quality titanium sponge and mill-products, along with an exploration of the application of titanium, and technological development. Founded in 1952, the Japan Titanium Society has 20 corporate members, 170 corporate associates and 34 individual members. The organization helps promotes industrial technological development through collaborative efforts of industry, universities and Japanese economic business and trade ministries. The society cited expanding applications to promote titanium in Japan, such as high- profile architectural projects like the roof of the Senso-Ji Temple’s main hall in Tokyo and the construction of the marine pier for a runway at Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport; major sea water desalination plants; a 50 kilowatt pilot plan for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) on Kume Island; production of industrial plate heat exchangers; and automotive applications, such as components for exhaust systems. World Supply Trends David McCoy, Managing Consultant and Director of TZ Minerals International Pty Ltd., Victoria Park, Australia, a global, independent consulting company that specializes in providing comprehensive data and analysis on the titanium metal industries, mineral sands, titanium dioxide and coatings industries, presented information on the global titanium sponge market. Offering an interpretive overview, McCoy said there is overcapacity in the global titanium sponge market, especially in China. China’s sponge production totaled 82,000 metric tons in 2013, matching production from the previous year. Sponge production capacity in 2013 was 157,000 metric tons, 8 percent higher than 2012. McCoy pointed out that the growth in sponge capacity “far exceeds demand growth.” A breakdown of sponge output in 2013 revealed a number of producers, the largest of which is Zunyi Titanium, with 22 percent of the output total, followed by Tangshan Tianhe, Luoyang Sunrui Wanji, Jinzhou Huashen and Chaoyang Jinda, and several other smaller producers. Despite the overcapacity, McCoy said these sponge sources have plans to expand production capacity nearly 80,000 metric tons by the year 2015. McCoy pointed out that industry consolidation in China can be expected, “where smaller, less efficient plants will be phased out,” meaning total sponge production capacity in China could be reduced to around 100,000 tons per year.” He also said no new sponge production projects, other than the previously mentioned plans, are expected to come online in the short term, unless there is a surge in domestic demand and/or China is able to penetrate the overseas market. According to the China’s 12th five-year plan, sponge exports are targeted to increase to 30 percent of total production. The sponge production plan is expected to yield improved plant utilization and cost effectiveness with the rationalization of the sector. By way of comparison, McCoy said sponge production in the United States, by Timet and ATI, was about 14,000 metric tons in 2013, down from over 16,000 metric ton in 2011. Ust-Kamenogorsk Titan-Magnesium Kombinat in Kazakhstan produced over 8,000 metric tons last year. Zaporozhye Titanium & Magnesium Combine checked in with 6,000 metric tons, while Japan, described by McCoy as a “critical player” in the global sponge market, produced 35,000 metric tons of sponge, down from 55,000 metric tons in 2012. As for emerging players in the global sponge market, McCoy identified nascent production coming on stream in India. As reported in the 2013 Industrial Edition of TITANIUM TODAY, Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL), the country’s largest domestic producer of steel, has formed a joint venture with Kerala State Industrial Development Corp. (KSIDC) and Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd. (KMML) to produce titanium sponge and metals, investing over $450million (US) to launch the new production facility. The first phase of the new production effort will have the capacity to produce 10,000 metric tons of titanium sponge per year. McCoy also mentioned a new sponge facility being planned in the southwestern corner of Saudi Arabia, along the Red Sea, a business alliance that involves Toho Titanium Co. Ltd., Chigasaki City, Kanagawa, Japan. The presentation by Daniele Sedge, Trader at ELG Utica Alloys Inc., Utica, NY, “Benefits of Shortening the Path between Producers and Customers by Using a Fully Approved Scrap Processor.” Sedge said scrap is a crucial factor in the U.S. supply chain. He pointed out that, with an average input ratio of 42 percent in the production of titanium ingots (the highest level, worldwide), scrap is already crucial for the supply chain of American titanium melters. According to a price trend chart that plotted the titanium sponge market vs. the titanium scrap spot market from 2004 to 2013, he stated that “in a long-term perspective, scrap is a cheaper source of raw materials.” In a bar chart that illustrated energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, he concluded that, compared with sponge, using scrap as the primary source of raw materials for the production of titanium ingots will reduce the energy consumption and the related CO2 emissions by 95 percent. Sedge said that for scrap generators, utilizing a fully approved scrap processor provides greater value, transferring from a trading industry to a service industry. Other benefits include maintaining clean scrap streams, maximizing recycling material quality and increasing value, and securing more units for quality recycling rather than low-grade applications. The benefits for melters include getting cheaper energy cost when melting already alloyed products, increased visibility of titanium scrap supply, and access to raw material resources as a key to ensuring future quality units A paper by Dr. Jeya Ephraim, University of Bradford, U.K., discussed separation of ultrahigh purity alpha phase titanium sponge (98 percent) from titanium dioxide (anatase) by direct reduction. The objective of developing the Bradford process, as an alternative the traditional Kroll process, is to produce ultra- pure high grade titanium sponge at a lower cost without any oxygen impurities. The current global annual production level of titanium is 60,000 metric tons, compared to 25 million tons for aluminium, Ephraim estimated. Titanium is extracted from rutile, ilmenite and anatase, with ores that are abundantly available in India, Australia, North America and South Africa. A long sought-after price reduction for titanium would lead to a rapid increase in usage, with long-term potential similar to that of stainless steel. In the traditional Kroll process, titanium is obtained along with partially reduced chlorides of Ti (TiCl2 and TiCl3). “The removal of these chlorides complicates matters and increases the cost of titanium production. The whole batch requires two weeks for completion,” Ephraim said. In the paper Ephraim talked about the experimental phase of the Bradford process—a direct reduction of titanium dioxide with calcium metal. This process involves mixing TiO2 anatase with calcium metal under suitable conditions. The contents are loaded in a reducing chamber exclusively designed for the experiment and reduction was carried out for five hours at 900o C under pressure. The reduced contents are leached with hydrochloric acid for two hours, then washed and dried. Wet chemical analysis reveals this process yielded a highpurity titanium sponge without any oxygen impurity. X-ray diffraction (XRD) scanning electron microscopy reveals the presence of homogeneous alpha titanium phase. Ephraim said production scale up for the process is underway at the university level with industry partnership. In addition to titanium, the process also is suited to produce other metals from their oxides, such as zirconium, tantalum, hafnium and niobium. Volker Güther , manager of advanced materials, GfE Metalle und Materialien GmbH, a business unit of the AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group NV, the Netherlands, offered thoughts on “Multinary Masteralloys for Highly Alloyed Titanium Alloys and Titanium Aluminides.” Guther said GfE has developed and successfully introduced “multinary” master alloys for the production of Ti-17, Ti-6246, TiAl TNM, and TiAl 48-2-2. A master alloy is an alloy containing two (binary), three (ternary) or more elements (multinary) with a defined composition. The advantage of a multinary alloy system is that it improves control on phase formation. Master alloys improve heat and corrosion resistance and enhance the mechanical properties of the base titanium. The alloys are tailored to metallurgically create microstructural stabilization providing associated physical and chemical properties. Multinary alloying provides the opportunity to suppress or even prevent the formation of extended high melting phases in master alloys. Guther said this is an important pre-condition to process granules instead of powders in order to improve the vacuum arc remelting (VAR) consumable electrode stability particularly for highly alloyed titanium alloys and titanium aluminides. He said the processing of granules instead of powders would be preferred, but requires the suppression of high melting phases, which may be more likely to achieve in a multinary master alloy system. The first step of the basic production route of master alloys via aluminothermic reduction (ATR) involves raw materials, metal oxides, aluminum and auxiliary materials are being mixed and homogenized. The mixture is ignited and reacts exothermally (aluminothermic/thermite smelting process) within a refractory-lined or copper vessel. The second step involves vacuum induction melting, followed by various inspection procedures and chemical analysis. 3D Titanium – Additive Manufacturing In recent years, additive manufacturing has emerged as a technology of interest in the titanium industry. The basic additive manufacturing process involves spreading thin layers of metallic powders that are melted and precisely built up, layer by layer, to create a part. Paolo Gennaro, the managing director of AvioProp, GEAvio, Cameri (Novara), Italy, outlined the benefits and supply chain issues regarding titanium industrial additive manufacturing. Gennaro said additive manufacturing allows designers to put material directly in the right place, with no joints, screws and nuts or flanges. The technology can replace solid body parts with reinforced structures, adding as many stiffening ribs as required. It also has the potential to significantly reduce assembly time and requirements by integrating numerous features into a single component. “Reliability increases. Less part count means less unique failure points,” he said, adding that the technology also delivers homogeneous products with greater metallurgical uniformity. Avio Aero, a GE Aviation business, based in Rivalta di Torino, Italy, is a leading player in the design, manufacture and maintenance of civil and military aeronautics components and systems. Avio Aero acts as the center of excellence for the entire General Electric group in the field of mechanical transmissions and low-pressure turbines. Avio Aero, in December 2013, opened Cameri (Novara) one of the largest plants in the world designed specifically for additive manufacturing. The new Cameri plant can accommodate up to 60 machines for producing components, all qualified for aerospace work using additive manufacturing, along with two atomizers for the direct production of special metal alloy powders such as titanium aluminide, along with installations for component heat treatment systems. According to a press release posted on the company’s website, additive manufacturing technology, more commonly known as 3D printing, starts from a digital model and enables any shape of solid object to be produced through a combination of special metal alloys. The company stated that additive manufacturing meets the main challenges of the aerospace industry such as weight reduction, with the aim of achieving less fuel consumption and lower emission levels, a reduction in the production times through part consolidation, and the innovative use of robust metal alloys. For example, producing an injector for an aviation engine combustor with conventional technology involves welding various components, while additive technology can produce the part in one piece. Gennaro reviewed Avio Aero’s two primary additive manufacturing capabilities, beginning with electron beam melting, a technology that uses an electron beam in the powder melt process. Metallic powders of titanium/aluminum alloys are used and significant component weight savings benefits can be achieved. The second technology is direct metal laser sintering, which involves a laser beam used to melt a variety metallic alloy powders. He said that, for both technologies, a digital 3D model of the component to be produced is created and downloaded to the additive manufacturing machine. Laurenz Plochl, Sales Engineer – Vacuum Metallurgy , ALD Vacuum Technologies GmbH, Hanau, Germany, discussed “Inert Gas Atomization for Metal Additive Manufacturing Powder Production.” Plochl said ALD has the capability to combine various vacuum melting technologies with inert gas atomization, which enables the production of superclean metal powders, such as superalloys, titanium, titanium alloys, zirconium and precious metal powders for metal additive manufacturing, as well as other consolidation techniques. Plochl gave a rundown of ADL’s two technologies: vacuum induction melting inert gas atomization (VIGA); and electrode induction melting inert gas atomization (EIGA). Typical alloys for VIGA metal additive manufacturing applications and alloys includes PBF (powder bed fusion) and DED (directed energy deposition) for highalloy steels, and precious metal alloys. For EIGA metal additive manufacturing, PBF and DED for alloys such as TiAl6V4, γ-TiAl, Zr702, and precious metal alloys. Inert gas atomized powder exhibits a spherical particle shape, compared with metal powder from alternative production processes, such as chemical precipitation, which exhibits an irregular particle shape. For novel near-net shape processes, such as additive manufacturing and metal injection molding, as well as for thermal spray and shaped hot isostatic pressed (HIP) parts, Plochl said the spherical powder particle shape is a desired feature as it enhances powder flow. Consolidation into a semifinished powder metal product is more costly with spherical powder, because compaction usually is not done by a simple uniaxial press; multiaxial compaction processes (HIP, hot extrusion) are required. Hendrik Schonefeld, area sales manager, SLM Solutions Group GmbH, Lubeck, Germany, addressed the use of metal powders in additive manufacturing, with a view into the associated machine technology. Schonefeld said select laser melting (SLM) for titanium, aluminum alloys, stainless steel, tool steel, superalloys has its origins in three-dimensional printing for rapid prototyping technologies, which paved the way for 3D printing in industrial volume production and prototyping. The SLM Solutions Group offers three SLM machine models: the 125, 280 and 500. Last year the company sold 28 SLM machines. He said the company is integrating SLM machines into complex production processes with automated powder handling, production in an inert atmosphere, safe powder handling, short processing times, closed-loop powder cycles and automatic sieving and feeding. He also described the technology’s use in medical and aerospace applications. Eric Bono, president of Summit Materials LLC, Pittsburgh, PA provided an overview of the company’s refurbished 55,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility for powder metal production via gas atomization and plasma arc melting. He said gas atomization involves the flow of molten titanium through a high-pressure inert gas (argon) in order to break apart the molten stream into droplets that solidify in- flight into fully alloyed spherical powder particles. The advantages of gas atomization involves creating free flowing spherical particles with a wide particle size distribution that chemically pure and homogenous. Industrial PanelRegis Baldauff, market director for the Industrial unit of T. I. Titanium Industries, Rockaway, NJ, reviewed “Current Global Trends for Titanium Applications within the Chemical Process and Oil and Gas Markets.” Baldauff, who is based in Jacksonville, FL, tracked the growth of the chemical process industry (CPI) in the United States, stating that cumulative capital investment for this business sector is expected to reach $71.7 billion through 2020, which is expected to result in a $66.8 billion in increased CPI output. About 30 percent of that capital investment total will be dedicated to the purchase of major processing equipment, such as pumps, pressure vessels, heat exchanger, pipes and valves—all of which represent attractive business opportunities for titanium. Bulk petrochemicals will represent over half of the CPI investment composition, followed by plastic resins and fertilizers. For major development in the global oil and gas market, Baldauff pointed to the $16-billion deepwater Kaombo project, located 160 miles off the coast of the African nation of Angola. Total SA is a France-based integrated international oil and gas company, is leading the massive project along with other partners. The New York Times, in its April 14 edition, reported Total has set a start date of 2017 for the Kaombo project, which is expected to produce 230,000 barrels of oil a day. The Times said Kaombo is a highly complex project involving six oil fields, both heavy and light oil, and 59 wells that will need to be connected by about 185 miles of piping underneath as much as 6,200 feet of water. Baldauff said Kaombo will make use of “hybrid loop” technology for multiphase pumping and transport of fluids from the ocean floor. According to information posted on the Total website, a hybrid loop configuration is an innovative technology for multiphase pumping and transport of the fluids. The technology involves the deployment of two floating production, storage and offloading vessels, each with a capacity of over 100,000 barrels per day. He also said oil exploration is ramping up in North America. As of April 25 the rig count for United States and Canada was a combined 2,029 units, up 153 rigs from a year ago. “Copper and Nickel Supply Side Economics Make Strong Case for Titanium,” a presentation and study by Rob Henson, manager, business development, VSMPO Tirus US, Highlands Ranch, CO, and Steven Hancock, market analyst, Tirus International SA, Lausanne, Switzerland, makes the case that shifts in global market and mining conditions have created advantages and opportunities for titanium in demanding, corrosionresistance industrial markets such as heat exchangers, electric power generation and the desalination industry. An article on their presentation was published in the recent Industrial edition of TITANIUM TODAY. Henson and Hancock said that recent global developments, such as regulatory restrictions on exports of non-processed nickel ore and increasing production and mining costs for copper and nickel, along with global demand forecasts for electricity and clean water, all will result in a cost advantage for titanium products. Increasing demand for copper and nickel alloys have driven large investment in mines and processing plants globally. However, the quality of these new mines has been rapidly declining over the last 25 years and production costs have skyrocketed as a result, according to Henson and Hancock. “It is clear that the combined effect of declining head grade at mines and increased energy costs will drive the LME (London Metal Exchange) price of nickel and copper higher over time,” Henson and Hancock state in their paper. “Substitution of other materials of construction will alleviate the demand shortfall in some instances but many of the applications for these commodity metals do not currently have a substitute such as nickel for turbine engine application and copper for electrical power generation. The pressure will continue on the supply side for additional tonnage and this will result in a steepening price curve.” As for the titanium industry, Henson and Hancock say there is a stable, welldeveloped, international mining industry that is currently shipping 95 percent of its production as a mineral product. The potential increase in value to the titanium miners is very attractive if they ship to a metal production facility and, as only 5 percent of mined titanium product is reduced to titanium metal in today’s market, there is considerable elasticity in the supply side of the business. Since titanium typically is seen as an alternative to copper in desalination systems, the price differential is a driver in the material choice, Henson and Hancock point out. The drop in price differential during the years 2010 and 2011 resulted in the titanium becoming significantly more attractive. Titanium tubes make up 10 percent of the desalination tube bundle and are used where corrosion risk is high. Since the density of titanium is half that of brass, if the price of titanium tubes is less than double that of copper tubes, titanium will be cheaper per meter, irrespective of the value associated with its corrosion resistance. Stéphane Pauly, Business Development Manager for DMC Nobelclad Europe , gave a presentation on the explosion cladding process (“Titanium Clad Steel Hot Working Considerations and Applications”) and the markets served by this technique. Pauly said NobelClad has facilities in the United States, France and Germany and 50 years of experience in explosion welding technology. He provided an outline of the process, saying that cladding and base metal plates are positioned parallel with a preset separation distance. Explosive detonation sweeps across the plate at around 2,000 meters per second, pushing the cladding metal into the base metal under high pressures. The high pressure and heat generated at the collision point from the explosion creates a wavy interface between the cladding and base metals. Plates and forgings are candidates for this process. He said titanium, aluminum, copper, zirconium, Monel (a family of nickel-based alloys) and tantalum typically are used as the clad layer for the base layer of steel. Markets for explosion clad metal include military, shipbuilding, transportation, heat exchangers, electrochemical processing, and energy generation. Pauly characterized the titanium/steel clad interface, saying the explosion weld exhibits a thin, amorphous, “micro-fusion” layer, with virtually no intermetallic at the interface. He added that the corrosion resistance properties of titanium are not affected by the cladding process. “Titanium Anodic Oxidation: From Surface Functionalization To Corrosion And Environmental Properties” a paper by Associate Professor MariaPia Pedeferri, Politecnico di Milano, Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering, Milan, Italy, shared her work on how anodic oxidation on titanium can induce the formation of different titanium oxides. Pedeferri explained this controlled anodic oxidation thickens the titanium’s native oxide TiO2 layer, creating functional surface properties. The thickness of the oxide layer on the metal surface can be calculated and controlled, creating colors and enhanced levels of corrosion resistance. For example, she said reflection and refraction phenomena between light and the oxide interfaces generate interference colors that vary with oxide thickness. Titanium Aluminides Volker Güther, director of advanced materials, GfE Metalle und Materialien GmbH, who also gave a presentation during the World Industry Supply Trends speaker panel, offered a preview of his company’s work in titanium aluminide sheet materials. Guther said GfE has developed a lab-scale technology for the production of γ-TiAl TNMR (titanium, niobium, molybdenum) sheet materials and noted the properties of the sheet materials fulfill requirements of flat hot-gas structures in aircraft engines for noise reduction. Since noise reduction has become an outstanding issue in civil aircraft transportation, the demand for stable, high-temperature, low-weight/high-strength sheet materials for aircraft engine exhaust linings and low-pressure turbine engine blades is being reviewed, according to Guther. He described titanium aluminides as a promising candidate to help meet this requirement for noise reduction. He noted the European Clean Sky project HEXENOR a demonstrator exhaust muffler for helicopter application has been equipped partially with GfE’s TNMR sheet material. In the current development effort, Guther said GfE will further investigate and refine processing parameters of γ-TiAl TNMR to achieve optimized properties for specific applications. GfE then will apply results from its pilot plant and extend capacity according to market needs to industrialize the technology for sheet production. He cited various aerospace engine programs (more than 200 in operation) that utilize low-pressure turbine engine blades, and said titanium aluminide materials are being considered for other applications, such as automotive race sport engine valves, piston pins, connecting rods and turbocharger wheels. Peter Spiess, project manager, IME Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany, reviewed “Closing the Materials Loop for Titanium Aluminide Production; Recycling of Contaminated Scrap.” Spiess said the most common processing technique for titanium aluminides consists of the very expensive double or triple remelting in a vacuum arc furnace (VAR) of pressed electrodes of primary materials. By the use of a subsequent spin- casting process, so called “master heads” are produced. They are used in investment casting processes where the material solidifies in runners and feeders of the casting system or as a skull in the crucible and is obtained as scrap. Due to the high generation of scrap in the production process, Spiess said IME Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling has developed as a closed-loop, three-step recycling process for titanium-aluminide scrap, which shows great potential to reduce production costs. Spiess explained that the process, which reduces the production costs by more than 35 percent, is predicated on a combination of industrially approved processes: vacuum induction melting (VIM); pressure electroslag remelting (PESR); and VAR. In the first step, pretreated titanium aluminide scrap is melted via VIM using specialized ceramic linings and includes pre-deoxidization by calcium addition. The melt is cast into a water cooled copper mold to produce an electrode. In a second step, the manufactured electrode is remelted in an inert gas electroslag remelting furnace (IESR) using a continuously activated reactive slag causing a final deoxidization. The third processing step is VAR, which removes small slag inclusions as well as dissolved calcium, and allows for hydrogen degassing. He characterized this process as a significant innovation for the titanium industry—making it possible to recycle titanium aluminide scrap and produce material with minimal oxygen content and very small inclusions. “Melting and Casting of Titanium Aluminides; Challenges and Opportunities,” was a paper presented by Henrik Franz, head of research and development of the metallurgy division of ALD Vacuum Technologies. Franz said his company has been involved in titanium aluminide technology and industrial applications since 1995. Providing an overview of this field, he identified four generations of titanium aluminide development, dating back to the 1970s. Today titanium aluminides can deliver tight alloy specification and low impurities for a variety of industrial applications, he said. These alloys are created via powder production through plasma melting (a continuous production method) and VAR (a batch production method). Melting and casting techniques include VAR skull melting, cold-wall induction crucible and ceramic crucible, along with forging methods. Franz cited a current effort that involves investment casting of titanium aluminide for automotive turbocharger wheels and turbine blades. Another automotive project involves cold-wall induction crucible and centrifugal casting of engine valves. A similar manufacturing technique is being considered for aerospace engine turbine blades. Dr. Wildried Smarsly, an executive with MTU Aero Engines AG, spoke on the “Status of Titanium Aluminide for Aero Engine Applications.” Smarsly delivered his remarks as part of the Aerospace panel for the Sorrento conference and identified titanium aluminide alloys as a promising contender to meet the challenges for geared turbofan aerospace engine concepts. An initial application target for would be to design and manufacture titanium aluminide high-speed, low- pressure turbine blades, replacing nickel superalloys, which offers the potential for considerable weight savings. Production of forged titanium aluminide components is technically feasible on an industrial scale for last-stage, geared turbofan low-pressure turbine applications, according to Smarsly. Forging process options for turbine blade production include “near-conventional” forging and isothermal forging. The demand specifications for these aerospace engines call for reduced weight, a substantial reduction in fuel consumption and emission and higher engine operating temperatures. This will mean optimization of all materials and manufacturing processes for engine parts. Smarsly said particular challenges for titanium aluminides will be to demonstrate alloys with consistent, reliable “ingot quality” (chemical homogeneity) and “billet material quality” (microstructural homogeneity). Based in Munich, Germany, MTU Aero Engines is the producer of the high- speed low-pressure turbine for Pratt & Whitney’s PurePowerR Geared TurbofanTM PW1100GJM engine, which will be used to power the Airbus A320neo (new engine option) family of planes. Aerospace Another speaker on the Aerospace panel, Dr. Rob Sharman, the head of Metallics Technology for GKN Aerospace, Redditch, Worcestershire, U.K., outlined the “Future of Titanium in Aerospace Manufacturing.” Sharman observed that the increase in the use carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP) for aerospace platforms has driven the metallics industry to develop new competitive products, such as the third generation aluminium/lithium alloys. He sees continued growth for titanium in the global aerospace industry, with an increasing range of alloys. However, he warned that “more advanced alloys and materials can equate to higher cost and processing challenges.” He anticipated an expanded use of additive manufacturing and powder metallurgy and said these new processing techniques are exciting and can help unlock material science potential of new titanium alloys. However, he added that there are “big challenges required to benefit fully from the opportunities now available (such as aerospace industry certification challenges). The combination of the understanding of materials science and new processing techniques is an exciting future.” As for other titanium cutting-edge production techniques in the aerospace sector, another speaker on the Aerospace panel, Bertrand Flipo, senior project leader with the Friction and Forge Process Joining Group of The Welding Institute (TWI) Ltd., Cambridge, U.K., presented a paper on “Near Net Shape Manufacturing by Linear Friction Welding.” Beginning in 1984, TWI pioneered the development of linear friction welding. He cited one TWI case study that examined the use of linear friction welding for titanium airframe brackets. Medical For the conference’s Medical panel, a presentation by Ric Snyder, Product Manager for the Orthopedic and Dental Implant Markets from Fort Wayne Metals, Fort Wayne, IN, discussed “Improved Properties for Commercially Pure Titanium Grade 4 Dental Implant Material.” Alex Fima, general manager of RTI Directed Manufacturing Inc., Austin, TX addressed “Additive Manufacturing for Production Titanium,” while Hans-Henk Wolters, CEO, ECM Technologies discussed the “Use of PECM of Titanium for Medical Device Applications”. Aerospace Technologies Speakers on the Aerospace Technologies panel included Silvia Marchisio of the Advanced Materials & Processing Lab. (AMPLab), Interdisciplinary Research Centre, School of Metallurgy and Materials, University of Birmingham, U.K., who spoke on “Electric Current Assisted Joining of α+β (alpha and beta) Titanium Alloys for Aerospace Applications”; Marty Moffat, vice president and general manager, Cyril Bath Co., Monroe, NC, and Patrick Romilly, research and development project manager, ACB, Nantes, France, “Breakthrough Technologies in Aerospace Industry for Titanium Processing”; and Dr. Christina Schmidt, project manager, material development, VDM Metals GmbH, Werdohl, Germany, “Ti-6Al-2Sn-4Zr-6Mo for Aerospace Applications.” Fabrication The Fabrication speaker panel featured technical papers presented by Hans-Henk Wolters, CEO ECM Technologies who addressed “Electrochemical Machining”; followed by Victor Demidovich, Professor, St. Petersburg Electotechnical University (LETI), Russia, “Utilization of Induction Heating in the Process of Titanium”; Ivan Logachev, postgraduate, National University of Science and Technology, Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys, “The Technology of High-Temperature Titanium Alloy Production for Granular Metallurgy Products”; and Thorsten Schneiker, vice president of research and development, the Scanacon Group, Stockholm, Sweden, “Process Chemistry and Acid Management in Titanium Pickling Processes.” Keynote Speaker Commercial astronaut Brian Binnie, XCOR Aerospace senior test pilot, served as the keynote speaker for the Sorrento conference. XCOR Aerospace is headquartered in Mojave, CA. In October 2004 Binnie piloted Burt Rutan’s suborbital SpaceShipOne and won the $10-million Ansari X-Prize. Binnie shared insights on the personal and technical challenges of the SpaceShipOne program. He spent 20 years as a Naval Aviator and has also trained as a Navy Test Pilot. He owns four aerospace world records, flew the first private vehicle to break the sound barrier and is one of more than 430 astronauts. The SpaceShipOne is on permanent display in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC. AeroMat 2014 The Latest Word on Aerospace Materials The theme of ASM International’s 25th AeroMat Conference and Exposition was “The Latest Word in Aerospace Materials.” As the Plenary Sessions and a multitude of conference papers showed, the word is clearly “Additive Manufacturing.” Designated by almost everyone as a disruptive technology, if done right it will change everything about manufacturing in America, and in fact has already had significant impact. The Plenary Sessions featured industry leaders who are driving innovation: Dawne Hickton, Vice Chair, President, and CEO of RTI International Metals, Inc.; Jack Fox, Chief of the Surface Systems Office in the Engineering and Technology Directorate at the NASA Kennedy Space Center; William Frazier, Senior Scientist for Materials Engineering at the Naval Air Systems Command; and David Abbott, Additive Manufacturing Technology leader for the Advanced External Design team at GE Aviation. The Plenary Sessions were followed by three days of technical sessions dedicated to advanced aerospace materials and processes. Here we highlight the four Plenary presentations, and summarize selected technical papers from the 30 presented over six sessions. Dawne Hickton began her talk on What’s New in Aerospace Titanium by noting that a recent article in the Wall Street Journal had featured a discussion between two economists who debated whether we are entering an era in which everything important has already been invented. “That is clearly not the case!” she exclaimed, at least in the titanium industry. Since the year 2000, new markets, new products, new applications, and advanced manufacturing technologies have grown the titanium industry as a whole. For aircraft, the drive to reduce weight across the airframe and improve efficiency of engines has increased opportunities for titanium. Another reason for the increase in titanium applications is the growing use of carbon fiber-reinforced composites. Titanium is so applications have increased for fasteners and structures in contact with composites. It is one reason that total titanium applications in the Airbus A380 now add up to about 250,000 pounds. Another reason is that the new jet engines run hotter, which improves fuel efficiency but presents a structural challenge for the adjacent airframe. It means that higher-temperature operation will be required for pylons, nacelles, heat shields, and nozzles. Materials for these structures must bridge the performance gap between existing high-temperature titanium alloys and nickel-base alloys. In addition to metallic alloys, titanium aluminide intermetallics and titaniummatrix composites have advanced to the point where they are being made into parts. TiAl has excellent mechanical properties and resists oxidation and corrosion at temperatures over 600°C. Because TiAl density is lower than that of nickel-base alloys, TiAl components have the potential to increase the thrust-to-weight ratio in the aircraft engine. TiAl low-pressure turbine blades are already flying in the GEnx engine, and its high-temperature performance could lead to other applications. Mecachrome, a French Tier 1 integrator, has signed an agreement with GE Aircraft Engines to work on developing other titanium aluminide components for the GEnx engines. Titanium composites, such as titanium alloys reinforced with TiB2/TiC particles, are harder and stronger than titanium alloys alone, and have better wear resistance. They are currently being used in non-aerospace applications, such as medical devices. In addition to materials, RTI has also developed advances in manufacturing technologies. Cold hearth electron beam/ plasma hearth melting is a more efficient way to manufacture high quality titanium than the previous vacuum arc remelting method. “In the old days,” said Ms. Hickton, “we had to double or triple melt for titanium aircraft parts. With the new technologies, we can single or double melt, and more efficiently use scrap, which together significantly reduce processing time and cost.” Advances in titanium welding have enabled the industry to meet the growing demand for near-net-shape titanium products. Fusion welding techniques, as well as solid state welding techniques such as friction stir welding, are being combined with other technologies such as sheet forming and extrusion to manufacture complex shapes by the most cost-effective route. Hot-stretch forming of titanium extrusions is another new technology, one that was developed for manufacturing longshaped components compatible with carbonfiber-based composite airframes. Prior to this development, bending and shaping of extrusions were done in a time-consuming manual process. Now, automated recipes control temperature, rate of stretchingforming, and the final geometry. The result is better quality, repeatability, and minimal residual stresses. All of these technology advances have had profound effects on the business model, especially the supply chain. Historically, the supply chain would consist of a mill-product supplier, who would supply a forger, who would supply a machining company, who would supply an assembly company. Today, the massive consolidation that has taken place over the past several years has changed all that. For example, RTI’s mill in Niles, Ohio, produces mill products that are then shipped to another RTI facility to be extruded or forged, and thence to an RTI machining facility. Now, says Ms. Hickton, as announced in May, “we will be doing assembly work for components of the 787 Dreamliner, delivering finished complete parts.” In other words, RTI has moved from a Tier 4 to a Tier 3/Tier 2/Tier 1 supplier. However, even within RTI, products are shipped over oceans and between continents before the final assembly. Consolidating processes to one geographical area could cut transportation time and therefore costs. “That leads us to additive manufacturing, which is a true gamechanger for our industry,” she asserted. In fact, “there is not a single OEM out there who is not making titanium parts by some form of additive manufacturing.” It is an important technology at RTI, because it can reduce product cost by improving design yields and reducing scrap. Furthermore, because AM machines require minimal capital investment, the company can afford to have its engineers experiment with the technology and learn the most efficient ways to use it. In addition, most key customers are establishing specifications for AM materials and processes for rapid qualification and insertion. With all the changes going on in both manufacturing and business, “What does the future hold for the titanium industry?” she asked. Looking around at the audience, she answered, “That will depend on you, the people at this conference.” David Abbott continued the additive manufacturing theme with Additive Manufacturing at GE Aviation — Revolutionizing the Way We Think. “At GE Aviation, additive manufacturing has two primary uses,” said Mr. Abbott, “rapid prototyping to compress the design cycle; and making previously difficult-tomanufacture high-performance components at lower cost.” However, the Technology Maturation and Acceptance Curve, shown here, illustrates that even with significant investment over the past ten years, AM is still very much in the Early Adopters stage. The graph also shows that the technology is well on its way to attaining broad-based acceptance and implementation. AM is a truly disruptive technology, because it affects every area of business: design, materials, manufacturing, and business models. The benefits are many, beginning with the fact that mechanical properties are better than those of castings, approaching those of wrought. Parts consolidation reduces weight and cost, while net shape eliminates machining and the need for capital equipment. It is a win-win, benefiting the aerospace customer with fuel savings, smaller carbon footprint, and reduced maintenance; the designer, with reduced weight, improved performance, better durability, enhanced capabilities, and reduced part count; and the manufacturer, with faster time to market, shorter supply chain, better product, and mass customization. The prime example of such highperformance components is the additively manufactured fuel nozzle that is part of the LEAP engine. The AM part consolidates 20 parts into one. It provides a factor of five durability improvement over traditional construction, the result of the geometric freedom AM accommodates. It reduces manufacturing cost by 33% compared to the previous product, because of the simplified manufacturing process. Weight is reduced by 25% because of the geometric freedom allowed by AM. GE expects to be making 40,000 nozzles per year by 2020. However, this is only the beginning, as GE wants to take 1000 pounds out the LEAP engine, and even more weight out of the airframe. Engine materials will be a mix of metals, composites, and hybrid structures, and most components are likely to be built by additive manufacturing. Millions of dollars per year in fuel will be saved, and the aircraft will be able to carry more payload, or lengthen its range. To succeed in the future, alloys will need to be designed for additive manufacturing. Today’s workhorse alloys such as Ti-64 may have to be changed, or at least optimized. To be able to make large parts, faster systems with larger build volumes and the ability to manufacture complex geometry will be needed. Technologies such as electron-beam freeform fabrication that can make large structures will have to be enhanced. At that point, we will be able to take the most advantage of innovative design and the best materials for the job. William Frazier also continued the additive manufacturing/direct digital manufacturing/3D printing theme with The Transformative Potential of Additive Manufacturing. He contends that “Additive manufacturing is about to change the way we do business. This is a disruptive technology, and it may have as large an impact on manufacturing as cell phones have had on our society as a whole.” AM is especially important to the Navy, which must be able to quickly repair or replace equipment on board ship anywhere in the world. The Navy vision is parts on demand, when and where they are needed. To build a part, an AM build package could be transmitted to a ship or to a battle zone, in real time. For example, if an out-ofproduction forging needed to be replaced today, it would take a year to 18 months to get a replacement. But in the ideal future Navy scenario, a forward-deployed warfighter would have access to a database of all the parts that could be made via additive manufacturing. The database would house all the information necessary to fabricate the part, including the CAD drawings, 3D build package models, material and processing data, etc. The forward-deployed facility, possibly a ship, would carry the materials and the build equipment on board, instead of the many replacement parts needed today. To make this vision a reality, many things must be done. First of all, it is important to recognize that different AM technologies have different technology readiness levels (TRL) and those at the higher TRLs can be qualified and deployed more rapidly. The Navy is familiar with several AM technologies, as they are already used for rapid prototyping, tools, and custom fixtures, as well as repair. In one application, Navy engineers used AM to make a customized tool, saving an estimated $9000. Navy engineers have also used AM to 3D print sensors, electronic devices that enable condition-based maintenance in a piece of equipment. Although the challenges are many, “the biggest impediment to widespread use of AM in critical components is the ability to rapidly and cost-effectively qualify AM materials/processes, and to certify AMfabricated parts,” says Dr. Frazier. What is needed is not only a database of materials properties, but also details about how parts should be made. For example, if the powder is sintered by a laser moving along the Y-axis in the original part, what happens to properties if the next operator sinters along the X-axis? And what should the power level be? Materials properties also need a rigorous pedigree, which takes a great deal of time to assemble. For processes, physics-based models must be developed and validated, and machine variability must be controlled. Geometry-based properties need to be linked to the process in a knowledge-based system. For all of these aspects of the technology to come together, the players in the industry need to work as a community and settle on standards. Otherwise, it will be too expensive for any one producer, and the technology will fail. Dr. Frazier returned to this topic of reliable materials databases again and again, emphasizing that materialprocess-microstructure-property databases must be complete repositories of all the needed information. Once all these pieces of the technology are complete, then digital manufacturing will be mature, custom-designed products will be the rule, and the old ways products were designed and built (that is, the current ways) will be gone. A new era will begin, and in fact has already begun, in which complexity does not increase cost, and mechanical properties can be tailored to the application. Sensors will be integrated into components, to signal development of cracks or corrosion. Equipment will be repaired in the field with 3D printers, and parts can be built in a matter of days, rather than weeks or months. However, he cautioned, three major questions must be answered in depth before the technology can be applied across industry: How do we qualify materials and equipment? So much variability exists in both of these areas that engineers cannot simply specify an alloy and a process and be confident that the part will function as it should. How does AM affect the supply chain? It could essentially shorten it to the point where, for some AM products, the supply chain simply disappears. How do engineers certify production processes and equipment for specific parts? This is another issue in which variability in process and equipment could have a negative impact on properties. “We are re-inventing ourselves,” he pointed out, referring to the Navy, “but we need to develop a database of reliable materials properties, complete with pedigree.” Successful transformation depends on knowing the relationships between material, process, and properties for all of the AM technologies. The machines must be consistent in their operation, reliably producing parts with the same properties. Finally, engineers must be able to design, test, and evaluate products. “This is a BHAG goal,” stressed Dr. Frazier, “meaning that it is a big, hairy, audacious goal!” It is audacious, a huge challenge, with many moving parts and a tough road ahead. However, it will have such a positive impact on productivity, quality, and cost, that it is worth the time and effort and expense required to bring it to reality. Jack Fox spoke about Status and Plans for the NASA Commercial Crew Program – Putting Space Travel within the Reach of Anyone. He gave a resounding answer to the question he is most frequently asked: What has NASA been doing since the demise of the Space Shuttle program? He began with a history lesson, starting with the flight of Alan Shepard in 1961, ending with the final Space Shuttle mission in 2011. However, he said, that is not the end of NASA’s story. “NASA is working on the Space Launch System with an enormous rocket, bigger than the Saturn V. Its first test flight is on-track for late 2017 and the first test flight of the Orion spacecraft is on-track for later this year.” NASA’s Orion spacecraft is being built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before. Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space. Orion’s first flight test, called Exploration Flight Test-1, will launch this year atop a Delta IV heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 37. This test will evaluate launch and highspeed re-entry systems such as avionics, attitude control, parachutes, and the heat shield. In the future, Orion will launch on NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System. More powerful than any rocket ever built, SLS will be capable of sending humans to deep space destinations such as an asteroid and eventually Mars. Exploration Mission-1, scheduled for 2017, will be the first mission to integrate Orion and the Space Launch System. (From NASA website) The ultimate goal is to convert the Kennedy Space Center into a commercial, multi-use spaceport. NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is a partnership to help the United States aerospace industry develop space transportation systems that can safely launch astronauts to the International Space Station and other low-Earth orbit destinations. “We want to help the government get out of the way,” stressed Mr. Fox. The plan is that by late 2017, “NASA will buy rides to the International Space Station from private launch companies.” As a step in this direction, the Commercial Crew program was launched in 2010. “That year, NASA asked industry leaders to send some good ideas for a commercial crew space vehicle,” said Mr. Fox, “and NASA would award seed money.” It was a hybrid approach, in which both NASA and the companies would provide financing. As a result, Boeing, SpaceX, and Sierra Nevada were awarded contracts for design of space vehicles that could reach the International Space Station. They submitted designs for certification in January 2014, and the final contract will be awarded later this year. The Boeing and SpaceX designs will land by parachute. Sierra Nevada has designed a mini Space Shuttle that is to land on a runway. By 2017, the plan is for NASA to start buying rides into space. This is also when NASA plans to take the first steps into deep space by capturing an asteroid and placing in lunar orbit. Astronauts will robotically retrieve an asteroid about six feet in diameter, and place it in an orbit around the Moon. Why capture an asteroid? “There are a billion times more resources in space than there are here on Earth,” says Mr. Fox. “This will be just the start of learning how to extract minerals from asteroids and the Moon.” Additive manufacturing is a critical component to the success of bases on the Moon or Mars. To make titanium, aluminum, or silicon powders from minerals taken from an asteroid or the Moon, and then use them to build the necessary infrastructure, requires extremely advanced technology. Digital printers would enable astronauts to use the materials they find wherever they go to build whatever tools, equipment, and infrastructure they need. As it would be impossible to bring along enough spare parts to repair or make failed parts, AM is a fundamental requirement for future space travel. As the Commercial Crew program grows, it will ultimately have 400 providers in 33 states. The purpose of all of this is to expand human presence into the solar system. “If you look through a telescope at a pinpoint of the visible sky,” he says, “you will see thousands of galaxies. So much is out there!” Advanced Titanium Production and Processing in Australia was prepared by John Barnes (email@example.com), Leader of Titanium Technologies at CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation), and was presented by Sri Lathabai (firstname.lastname@example.org), Principal Research Scientist. Australia has more titanium resources than any other country in the world, so it is only natural that CSIRO would focus on titanium alloy development. Dr. Lathabai described the TiRO continuous process for producing titanium powder, and showed how it is being used for a range of fabrication processes, including additive manufacturing. She also briefly described Thermally Assisted Machining of titanium, which cuts tool wear, time, and machining cost. The TiRO process involves the continuous reduction of titanium tetrachloride with magnesium. It is based on fluidized bed technology, by which solid particles that are suspended in a gas act like a fluid. Process engineering and computerized modeling have been applied to build a pilot-scale fluidized bed reactor. The CSIRO pilot plant has produced Ti-64, CP titanium, and TiAl. In addition, a 10 tpa plant is under construction in Melbourne, Victoria, at Coogee Titanium. Process conditions can be adjusted to generate titanium particles tailored to both shape and size to suit differing downstream applications. This is an advantage in the fabrication step, where the powders can be consolidated directly, thereby avoiding a further remelt step. Particulates can be converted efficiently into sheet, rod, wire, coatings, and near-net shapes via hot isostatic pressing, metal injection molding, cold spray, powder consolidation, and laser forming. Sciaky Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM) is a rapid metaldeposition additive manufacturing process used at CSIRO. It works efficiently with a variety of weldable alloys for the manufacture of near-net shape, custommade workpieces. However, rapid deposition rates require high heat input into both the substrate and previously deposited layers, resulting in large thermal gradients. Because of this, residual stress and shape distortion are inherent features of AM technology. In most cases, fabricated parts need to be heat-treated post-deposition to relieve residual stresses and distortion, adding to cycle time and cost. To address this issue, CSIRO and Boeing have developed a predictive tool, called C-THRU, for control of distortion and residual stresses during and after deposition, as a first step towards an active distortion-management system. Dr. Lathabai also discussed the Microturbo Aero-engine project, whose purpose is to make all of the components of a small gas turbine engine by additive manufacturing. Participants include Monash University, Deakin University, CSIRO, and Safran Microturbo. Thermally Assisted Machining of titanium is another major CSIRO program. Titanium is difficult to machine, but localized heating by a laser reduces the yield/shear stresses and the work hardening rate in the shear zone. This makes it possible to cut at a high speed, without tool damage, and to reduce the roughing cycle time. A case study conducted on a generic aero part showed that an 85% reduction in cycle time could be achieved. CSIRO is continuing work on this program as well. Development and Application of New High-Strength, High-Ductility, Castable Titanium Alloys was presented by Jason Sebastian (email@example.com ) of Questek Innovations. Using Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) methodologies, QuesTek engineers applied their Materials by Design approach, which integrates relevant thermodynamic and kinetic databases with advanced computational modeling tools. Precise chemical compositions and key processing parameters are calculated to ensure achieving the specific properties needed to meet required performance objectives, in a minimum amount of time. Dr. Sebastian pointed out that the typical time to deployment for a new alloy is 10 to 20 years. However, Questek designed and developed three new castable titanium alloys in a much shorter period of time. “We went from buttons to wedges to ingots to components — in only three years!” The castable titanium alloys are designated QT-Ti-1A, QT-Ti-2A, and QTTi-2B. They cost less to produce than Ti-64 because of lower vanadium content, and also because Ti-64 scrap can be added to the melt when making the alloys. “You would start with molybdenum, tin, and chromium, then add Ti-64 scrap,” he said. “This reduces production cost significantly.” Although developed for casting, the alloys would also be suitable for additive manufacturing. All three alloys have been designed to be lower cost in terms of near-net-shape formability (castability); raw materials (alloying additions); tolerance to impurities (oxygen and/or iron); and overall ease of processing (response to hot isostatic pressing, and robustness with respect to cooling rate after heat treatment). The cast QT-Ti-1A alloy has high strength and ductility, exceeding those of cast Ti-64, and similar to those of wrought Ti-64. The key to the excellent mechanical properties is the microstructure, which is composed of refined interlocking “basketweave” alpha-beta laths. This structure is responsible for the alloy’s strength and ductility. The structure also reduces the alpha coarsening rate, thus avoiding grain-boundary alpha phase. Questek is currently moving forward with commercialization of this alloy. Initial applications are for the U.S. Army (which sponsored the development under Contract #W15QKN-09-C-0144), including lightweight mortar buffer housings and components for the M777 lightweight howitzer. Potential applications are for airframes and engines, as well as for medical implants. QT-Ti-2A alloy has lower strength and higher ductility compared to Ti-6242. The QT-Ti-2B alloy has higher strength and lower ductility than Ti-6242. However, development of these alloys is not as far along as the QT-Ti-1A alloy. QuesTek is exploring partnerships with titanium casting designers, titanium alloy producers, titanium foundries, etc., to further commercialize the alloys. Development of High-Strength Alpha-Beta Titanium Alloy TIMETAL 575 was presented by Dr. Yoji Kosaka of TIMET, Titanium Metals Corporation (firstname.lastname@example.org). He reported that productionscale heats and evaluations are in progress at TIMET for Ti-575, a new alpha-beta titanium alloy that is said to provide higher strength than Ti-64 by more than 15% under equivalent heat treatment conditions. Ti-575 also has a wider processing window compared with Ti-64. The ingot shown in the photo weighs three metric tons. The alloy is essentially a Ti-Al-V system with density comparable to that of Ti-64. “However, it has higher specific strength,” says Dr. Kosaka, “as well as superior highcycle and low-cycle fatigue strength.” Composition is Ti-5.3Al-7.7V-0.5Si, and density is 1.6% higher than Ti-64. The microstructure shows finer primary alpha grains and finer alpha laths in the transformed beta phase. High strain-rate tensile tests show good ductility, with RA>85% down to 760°C. Alloy Ti-575 reportedly shows excellent LCF properties for both smooth and notched specimens compared with Ti-64, with superior strength up to 500°C. Target aerospace applications include fan blades, fan disks, compressor disks, and aero-structure parts. Development of Low Cost Production Techniques for Titanium Parts was presented by Mr. Koji Asai (email@example.com) of Kawasaki Heavy Industries. The goal of this project was to reduce the production cost of titanium components by 30%. It was developed with Kobe Steel and NIPPI Corporation, and sponsored by METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan). The project involved alloy Ti-531C, an alloy also discussed in other presentations. Its composition is Ti-4.5Al-2.5Cr-1.20Fe-0.10C (alpha + beta alloy). This alloy is said to have better formability than Ti-64 at elevated temperatures, as well as higher mechanical properties. In addition, mill products can be extruded and forged with a 10% to 20% lower load than Ti-64. Larger and more complex shapes are also possible. Among the lowercost forming techniques developed in the study is an inductionheating technology that enables extrusions to be heated and softened, as shown in the photo. After this heating, they can be formed to near-net-shape more easily, with less force. In addition, the new technique allows heating and forming incrementally at local areas using an induction heater and small dies. No strength reduction and no change of microstructure take place. Ti-531C extrusions were formed and laser-welded into parts similar to aerospace structures, producing welded joints with high quality and excellent mechanical properties. Evaluations confirmed that the newly developed techniques are applicable to actual parts such as fuselage frames. The study confirmed the feasibility of manufacturing fuselage frames by the new techniques using the Ti-531C alloy, and the overall cost was reduced by more than 30%. Engineers are now working to develop friction stir welding for the alloy. Friction Stir Processing of Beta Titanium Alloys: Challenges and Opportunities was presented by Dr. Sesh Tamirisakandala (firstname.lastname@example.org) of RTI International Metals, Inc. He described the results of a “purely exploratory” collaborative research between the University of North Texas and RTI, in which friction stir processing (FSP) was evaluated as a strengthening mechanism to improve performance of existing beta titanium alloys. These alloys are currently used in a variety of applications, including aerospace, energy, and biomedical, where high yield strength in combination with good ductility is needed to expand their scope. In recent years, FSP has been used to create unique microstructures to improve performance. In FSP, a rotating tool with pin and shoulder is plunged into the material to be processed, and traversed along the line of interest. Friction between the tool and the workpiece introduces localized high strain-rate plastic deformation. A stir zone is produced by movement of material from the front of the pin to the back of the pin. Friction-stir processing of beta titanium alloys produces fine recrystallized microstructures and introduces high dislocation density that assists in the precipitation of fine secondary alpha platelets upon aging. Both of these effects improve strength while retaining good ductility. For example, in this study, a specimen of Beta C alloy had tensile yield strength (TYS) of 118 ksi in the as-received condition, with tensile elongation (TE) of 15%. After FSP plus aging, TYS was 185 ksi, with TE of 9%. By comparison, a Ti-6246 specimen with 162 ksi TYS / 18% TE in the as-received condition, exhibited 252 ksi TYS/ 6% TE after FSP plus aging. These screening study results showed that FSP combined with aging at the appropriate nose temperature is a viable approach for selective microstructural modification to tailor the strength ductility combinations in beta titanium alloys. Hearth Melt Processes for Recycling Titanium Alloys was presented by Dr. Bala Cherukuri (email@example.com) of RTI International Metals Inc. Over the past few decades, cold hearth melting (CHM) technologies have enabled re-use of all forms of low-cost raw materials, including machine turnings and reclaimed scrap (revert). Production of ingot titanium utilizing recycled materials is more economical than if only titanium sponge plus alloying elements were melted. “If properly controlled, scrap can be used even for alloys in critical applications, significantly impacting cost,” says Dr. Cherukuri. “All forms of scrap can be re-melted, but they must be thoroughly cleaned, sorted, and properly formulated.” Along with existing plasma arc melting (PAM) and vacuum arc remelting (VAR) furnaces, RTI has recently commissioned and moved into production an electron beam (EB) furnace for producing titanium alloy ingots. The CHM processes utilize scrap such as solid revert and machine turnings, and also raw materials such as sponge, master alloys, and alloying-element additions. Titanium chips from machine shops are sorted and separated from nontitanium materials that may contain highdensity inclusions such as broken tungsten carbide cutting tool inserts. The CHM furnaces trap any undesirable materials in the refining zone of the furnace by gravity separation. The production steps for machine turnings are: receive, inspect, crush, wash, rinse, dry, screen, density-separate, and lab test. The turnings are then blended with sponge and the other raw materials, and pressed into briquettes using a hydraulic press. Prepared revert and scrap undergo primary melting in CHM furnaces, and final melting in the VAR furnace. The result is high-quality titanium alloy ingots, which are subsequently forged or rolled to produce mill products. Development of Advanced Titanium Alloy & Production/Processing Technology for Next Generation Aircraft Structures was presented by Dr. Akira Isoe (isoe@sokeizai. or.jp). He discussed a project whose goal is to reduce the cost of producing titanium parts by 30%. The project has six R&D groups that focus on several areas of research, including new titanium alloys, welding technology, and powder forming. Dr. Isoe described Ti-9, a new titanium sheet alloy that could cost 30% less to produce than Ti-64, with the same fatigue strength. It is fabricated by a new hot-rolling and process-heating technology, and may be easily coiled. To demonstrate coiling capability, he showed a photograph of a coil of the sheet alloy that was made on a production line for steel sheet. The program also produced Ti-531C, an alloy especially developed for extrusions and forgings. Detailed descriptions of these two new alloys were presented by Prof. Niinomi, Tohoku Univ., in the discussion Mechanical Properties of Newly Developed Low Cost Titanium Alloys Subjected to Microstructural Control for Next Generation Aircraft. Another development was a progressive forming machine for extrusions and forgings. “A straight bar is placed in the machine, and a curved bar comes out,” he said, “but no die is needed. One can change the bending curvature by changing the software program.” Still another development was SP-700, a new powder metallurgy alloy for sintered parts made by the Blended Elemental Powder Process. The sintered parts have high enough performance to be used for airplanes, and their production costs are 30% lower than those of machined parts. In addition, a new powder-metallurgy composite was studied in which Ti-64 powder is combined with titanium boride powder. Parts are compacted by spark plasma sintering, and these parts are said to have high bearing strength. This program was carried out at Sokeizai Center, Tokyo, sponsored by METI and was supported by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kobe Steel, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Fuji Heavy Industries, and several Japanese research organizations and universities.