A castings facility capable of producing some of the biggest titanium aerospace components in the world is now operational at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), UK.
The furnace has three interchangeable crucibles with the capacity for melting 250kg, 500kg and 1000kg of metal, which give it the versatility to produce components with a finished weight ranging upwards from 60kg.
With leading aerospace primes and manufacturing companies already lining up to collaborate on research, AMRC Castings is conducting initial paper and pilot studies to explicitly identify the risks and value streams associated with casting large-scale near-net shape components in titanium.
This research aims to refine and enhance the casting process, reassuring engineers that casting can create lower buy-to-fly ratios for large-scale aerospace components; whilst maintaining the performance expectations when compared to their forged counterparts.
AMRC Castings’ new furnace is part of a major investment and R&D programme, designed to enable UK companies to break into global markets for large scale titanium aerospace engine and structural components and is backed by the UK’s Aerospace Technology Institute; Innovate UK and High Value Manufacturing Catapult. It will be ready for industrial access around Summer 2017.
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