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L to R: Titanium powder obtained from rutile sand, Field Assist Sintered double cone preform, then pancake forging - image courtesy of FastForge

FASTforge, at the University of Sheffield and funded by Innovate UK, is a new process for the production of aerospace grade titanium alloys. The technology will provide engineers with more design flexibility, and potentially lead to improved buy-to-fly ratios: currently for some aerospace components, 90% of the forged titanium alloy is machined away to waste material. Working with UK industry partners Metalysis, the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) and Safran Landing Systems, the group of researchers are working to transform rutile sand to novel titanium alloy aerospace components in three steps; production of titanium powder from the rutile sand, field-assisted sintering technology and a one step forging process.

The FASTforge process recently featured in Professional Engineering, The Manufacturer and Advanced Materials and Processes (ASM International).