Norsk Titanium AS (NTi), a global 3D-printing technology leader, signed a memorandum of understanding with lightweight metals leader Alcoa to launch a Joint Technology and Industrial Cooperation program. Through the program, the companies will identify and explore cooperation projects to leverage each other’s advanced manufacturing expertise and strong commercial capabilities focused on serving the aerospace, defense, energy, automotive and maritime industries.
Norsk Titanium’s Direct Metal Deposition (DMD) technology transforms titanium wire into complex components at better than half the time, cost, and waste levels of legacy processes. Titanium wire is melted in a cloud of argon gas and precisely and rapidly built up in layers to a near-net-shape (up to 80% complete) that requires very little finish machining. Production cost is 50% to 75% less than legacy forging and billet manufacturing techniques due to significantly less waste and machining energy.
In July 2015, RTI International Metals, now Alcoa Titanium and Engineered Products, became a strategic investor in and minority owner of Norsk Titanium. The combination of NTi’s innovative technology with Alcoa’s vertically integrated titanium global supply has significant applications in the titanium closed-die forging market.
Today NTi is producing aerospace-grade titanium components with its fourth-generation equipment. Based upon extensive material testing, Norsk Titanium expects to formally conclude the multi-year aviation certification process in the first quarter of 2016 and will begin producing titanium components for customer part qualification in 2016 and commercially producing titanium components for its customers by the second half of 2016.