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TITAL benefits from composite-trend

Due to the consistently growing proportion of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) in the aerospace industry, the German titanium casting expert TITAL was able to further expand their market position over the last few years. Titanium is the only light metal that can be directly attached to the CFRP structures without the risk of developing corrosion defects.  

Over the last 30 years, the amount of aluminum-based structures in aerospace has been decreasing. The next generation of long range jets will have the outer aircraft skin completely made from CFRP. In order to avoid corrosion the brackets between the skin and the inner aircraft structure are preferably made from titanium alloys. TITAL has experienced approximately 50% growth in their titanium business segment over the last three years. Investments in new production facilities fostered TITAL's market position which today is one of only three titanium foundries worldwide that is capable of producing titanium castings with a size of 60 inches (1500 mm) and a weight of 660 lbs (300 kg).  

"In the past, most of the structural brackets and the outer aircraft skin were made from different aluminum alloys. Today, we have to face the new market requirements" states Philipp Jerusalem, Director Sales and Marketing at TITAL. "The aircraft structures of the Airbus A350XWB or its rival Boeing 787 contain up to 50% of CFRP (see table). The advantages of these composite materials are clearly found in their stiffness, energy absorption capability and low specific weight". CFRP's specific weight is up to 50% lower than those of aluminum alloys. But CFRP has one downside, when it is directly connected with aluminum, corrosion will occur and most of the stringers and beams in the aircraft structure are made out of aluminum. Philipp Jerusalem explains, "As soon as humidity comes into play, electrolytic corrosion is inevitable. To avoid this, one can awkwardly integrate a fiberglass layer between the composite and the aluminum element or replace the aluminum part with a titanium part." Titanium is corrosion resistant, has a very high strength-to-weight ratio and has a long proven track record on aerospace structures. Due to the extreme temperature gradient between the outer skin of an aircraft and the inner cabin, condensed water accumulates. While the temperature in the cabin is around 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20° C) it can be minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit (- 40°C) outside during cruising altitude. This condensed water accumulation accelerates the corrosion process at the CFRP-aluminum joints.  

In order to attach the CFRP elements to the metallic structures of the aircraft without any corrosion risk, titanium is increasingly used. One of those joining points is the rear pressure bulkhead. It is located in the back of the aircraft behind the galley and separates the cabin from the rear end of the aircraft and the outer pressure from the cabin pressure. The CFRP pressure bulkhead is connected with the inner aircraft structure though titanium brackets. Today, titanium use has increased to approximately 14% within the aircraft structure (see table).

Press release issued by Alcoa Power and Propulsion TITAL on December 21, 2009


 Contact details from our directory:
Alcoa Power and Propulsion TITAL Engine Parts, Titanium, Metal & Alloy Castings, Aircraft Structural Components, Aluminium, Engine Pylons


 Related directory sectors:
Structural Components

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