Kobe Steel, Ltd has recently begun supplying titanium alloy forged material for shafts to IHI Corporation. The forged material certified by IHI is used in a large commercial jet engine manufactured by General Electric (GE). IHI is one of the joint development partners of the engine.
Rotating parts such as shafts and disks made of titanium alloy forged material must be of extremely high quality. These are some of the largest components used in aircraft jet engines. Kobe Steel launched development of the forged material three years ago and has recently received certification from IHI. Kobe Steel has begun mass-producing and supplying the titanium alloy forged material for shafts.
Kobe Steel is in charge of process design of the forged material for shafts, and its group company, Japan Aeroforge, Ltd. (or JForge) does the forging. Kobe Steel is responsible for the other processes as well and quality assurance.
Forge is a joint venture of Kobe Steel, Hitachi Metals and several other companies established in January 2011. Kobe steel and JForge will expand the titanium business for aircraft jet engines following the supply order from IHI.
Passenger jets in service worldwide are projected to increase from approximately 20,800 in 2015 to over 38,000 in 2035, according to Japan Aircraft Development Corporation, which promotes the development of commercial aircraft. As a result, demand is also anticipated to expand in related industries.