Ti AM Parts Deliver Lightweighting, Other Benefits for Boom Supersonic Aircraft

January 20, 2021

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Ti AM Parts Deliver Lightweighting, Other Benefits for Boom Supersonic Aircraft
The Boom Supersonic XB-1 demonstrator aircraft, which debuted last fall at its Denver, CO, hangar, features 21 titanium-alloy 3D-printed parts, produced on Velo3D Sapphire metal-additive manufacturing (AM) machines. “By designing directly for AM,” says Byron Young, a Boom Supersonic engineer, “we can reduce the number of parts and joints, which also reduces time and net effort. And part consolidation cuts out significant amounts of weight—a major priority in aircraft design.”

The Sapphire system allowed the printing of walls as thin as 0.02 in., with a surface finish (250 Ra on average) that didn’t require additional machining in most cases. And the high aspect ratio (height to width) made possible by the machine’s noncontact recoater system was another technology plus cited by the project team.

U.K. University Teaming with Al-Alloy Provider to Investigate Metallurgy in AM Applications
Aluminium Materials Technologies, a provider of alloy feedstock for aerospace-part production, and The Advanced Materials and Processing Laboratory (AMPLab) at the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom) announced a collaboration to further the understanding in the metallurgy of high-strength, high-temperature A20X aluminum alloy in AM.

A20X, a family of high-strength aluminum-copper alloys, is used mainly in the aerospace and high-end motorsports sectors. According to Martin McMahon, business development director for Aluminium Materials Technologies: “The reliability of the A20X alloy has been proven to be more than adequate in high-strength, high-ductility and high-operating-temperature applications, so now we are building on our extensive development programs to create an even greater understanding of the fundamental metallurgy of the AM alloy.”

Free EWI Webinar Provides Intro to AM
EWI has scheduled a free webinar for organizations interested in adopting AM processes into production, but not knowing where to start. The webinar, Introduction to Metal Additive Manufacturing, is scheduled for Wednesday, February 10, from 2 to 3 p.m. EST, followed by a 30-min. Q&A.

Equispheres Launches Three AL-Powder Lines Along With Bundled Engineering Services
Equispheres has launched a new line of aluminum-powder products that it will bundle with advanced engineering services for specialty metal-AM applications. The three new powders are variations on its original high-performance aluminum alloy and have each been engineered to offer enhanced features for increased print precision and printed-part strength, or faster print speed and volume. The company also is working on parameter sets to increase production speeds by three to four times.

As part of the powder-delivery package, Equispheres now provides bundled application-engineering services to assist customers in achieving optimal results with the powder specific to their application requirements.

Industry News
Two More Metal Printers for Sintavia, Destined to Produce Commercial Space Parts
January 21 STLE Virtual Program Focuses on AM
Kent Joins PostProcess Technologies as CFO
New Granutools Website Details Technology for Powder-Flow Characterization

Fall 2020
In This Issue
Mega-Movement on AM Materials
Material developments continue unabated, as AM reaches into new, and expands in existing, applications.

Reaper Reaps AM Benefits via Redesigned Part
A newly designed air inlet on this remotely piloted aircraft delivers part consolidation along with substantial weight and cost reductions.

Coming in 3DMP's Winter 2021 Issue
  • Case Studies/New Applications for Metal AM
  • Formnext Connect Wrap-up
  • Metal AM in the Railroad Industry
  • Software Roundup—All that’s New in Software for Metal AM
  • Ensuring a Reliable Supply of Power for AM Builds

Industry-Related Terms: Alloys, Aluminum Alloy, Case, Lines, Surface
View Glossary of Metalforming Terms



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