Norsk Titanium announces its novel technology for additive manufacturing

News Analysis




Norsk Titanium announces its novel technology for additive manufacturing

Oslo-based Norsk Titanium’s novel directed energy deposition (DED) technology has been approved by Airbus for parts manufacturing. 

As part of a long-term collaboration with Airbus, Norsk Titanium have announced that its Rapid Plasma Deposition (RPD) process technology has successfully qualified for implementation into the Airbus production process. Additionally, the first additive manufacturing parts have been installed into an A350 after rigorous testing. Airbus’ German subsidiary, Premium Aerotec, has also placed an order for preliminary structural parts. The patented RPD process is a type of DED technology that utilises a plasma arc as an energy source for additive manufacturing (AM) applications. Norsk Titanium have also indicated that it is expanding its production capabilities to reduce lead-times, which will also allow for fast prototype development for customers.

AM is set to play a significant role within the aerospace industry because the process reduces raw material losses in the manufacturing process while also being more efficient than conventional production techniques such as castings and forgings. Additionally, AM also allows for the manufacturing of more complex lightweight parts. Given the current pressures on aerospace supply chains as a combination of the rapid rebound of the industry following the COVID-19 pandemic and the start of the Russian-Ukraine conflict, novel technologies such as the patented RPD process may alleviate supply chain interruptions.

In November 2023, Airbus also launched its own AM facility in Germany, emphasising its efforts to reduce supply chain lag times and therefore also reducing buy-to-fly ratios in the titanium value chain. Moreover, the anticipated growth of the commercial airline industry will require up to 40,000 aircrafts over the long-term forecast period (2040) to maintain the growing travel industry. For this reason, these optimisation efforts in the titanium supply chain will represent crucial steps in meeting the demand of the growing aerospace industry.