Titanium for Airbus

Kobe Steel Ltd will begun supplying titanium for use in Rolls-Royce’s Trent 900 aircraft engine, developed for the Airbus A380. The Airbus A380 will be the world’s biggest passenger plane when it goes into commercial service in 2006. Kobe Steel furnishes its double-melt Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy rings to Kawasaki Heavy Industries, which processes the metal into intermediate pressure compressor casings. The completed casings are then shipped to Rolls-Royce for fabrication in the Trent 900 engine. The initial shipment began in January this year. Over an initial five-year period, Kobe Steel will be the sole supplier of titanium rings to Kawasaki for the casings of the Trent 900 engine, with Kawasaki the sole supplier of the casings to Rolls-Royce. Kobe Steel’s many years of collaboration with Kawasaki were instrumental in gaining the order from Rolls-Royce. The Trent 900 engine is the launch engine for the A380 and will be used on 48% of the aircraft already on order, according to Rolls-Royce. So far, Airbus has 129 firm orders for the 555-seat A380.

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