Titanium alloy is still difficult to be widely used in aviation market


Titanium and titanium alloy can be used in structural parts in aviation market due to its low density, high strength, good high temperature resistance and corrosion resistance, but it is still very expensive as it is difficult to exploit and extract. Currently, it is only used in producing engines of airplanes and some small parts of military aircrafts.

Although powder metallurgy will have important effect on producing titanium alloy parts with the emergence of economical titanium powder source, material certification will have largest impact on the introducing of powder metallurgy titanium alloy. Due to the huge cost and difficulty in the certification process, companies will try to avoid using powder metallurgy titanium alloy products in aircraft, unless they have already had important application history in other fields.

titanium powder for powder metallurgyAs powder injection molding technology has gradually become mature, titanium alloy parts will be largely used in producing military ground vehicles that have low requirement on structural parts. Although this will not directly influence the aviation market, it can lower the price by reducing titanium sponge demand. Powder metallurgy titanium alloy will be most likely to enter the aviation market in the form of a new kind of mill product, which will eventually replace near net shape castings that have limited application on fuselage and parts that produced by other methods.

As titanium metal powder is easy to pollute as well as is inflammable and explosive, it will take several years to obtain related safe disposal knowledge and develop facilities. At present, titanium powder is extremely expensive. However, it is expected to become cheaper than titanium sponge in the future with the emergence of new production technology. Besides, by replacing some expensive technologies that are being used currently with other new technologies, it may save cost as well as can promote the rapid development and broader application of powder metallurgy titanium and titanium alloy.

In order to achieve broader application of titanium alloy on aviation field, titanium alloy and mill product manufacturers should make a lot of investments on the supply chain source as well as the certification process should be simplified and titanium alloy processing technology should become mature. However, as all of these improvements will not be easy to realize in a short period, titanium alloy will not be widely used in the aviation market in the short-term. Therefore, this popularization process will be very slow and will be full of difficulties.