DRDO indigenously develops high strength beta titanium alloy on an industrial scale
New Delhi, July 21, 2021
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has indigenously developed a high strength metastable beta alloy on an industrial scale for applications in aerospace structural forgings.
The titanium alloy (Ti-10V-2Fe-3Al) containing vanadium, iron and aluminium, has been developed by the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), a premier Hyderabad-based laboratory of DRDO, an official press release said
These alloys are being used by many developed nations in recent times as a beneficial substitute for the relatively heavier traditional Ni-Cr-Mo structural steels to achieve weight savings.
The excellent forgeability of high strength-to-weight ratio Ti-10V-2Fe-3Al alloy facilitates the manufacture of intricately configured components for aerospace applications with the potential for significant weight savings. Some of the components that may be forged from this alloy include slat/flap tracks, landing gear, and the drop link in landing gear – among several others, the release said.
The high strength beta titanium alloys are unique due to their higher strength, ductility, fatigue, and fracture toughness – making them increasingly attractive for aircraft structural applications. Furthermore, their relatively lower lifetime cost, owing to superior corrosion resistance in comparison to steel is an effective trade-off to justify the use of this expensive material in India, too, it said.
The DMRL has carried out raw material selection, alloy melting, thermo-mechanical processing, ultrasonics-based Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE), heat treatment, mechanical characterization and type certification in active collaboration with several agencies.
Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) has identified over 15 steel components that may be replaced by Ti-10V-2Fe-3Al alloy forgings soon with a potential of 40% weight savings. The landing gear drop link is the first component forged successfully by ADA at HAL, Bengaluru with DMRL’s involvement and duly certified for airworthiness.
Defence Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO and the industry for indigenous development of the alloy that will be useful for aerospace structural forgings.
Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy applauded the dedicated efforts by the teams involved in the indigenous development of this technology.