Dec 21, 2015 | By Kira

Norsk Titanium AS, developer of two proprietary and game-changing additive manufacturing technologies for the production of aerospace-grade titanium structures, has just achieved Technology Readiness Level Eight (TRL 8) after concluding a multi-year test plan coordinated through the Federal Aviation Administration and conducted by Westmoreland Mechanical Testing & Research Inc. The high-scoring results, taken from tests on 1,300 3D printed aircraft samples, prove that Norsk’s proprietary Rapid Plasma Deposition (RPD) 3D printed titanium parts meet the most demanding aerospace requirements, and can begin to be delivered to the world’s premier aerospace and defense companies as early as 2016.

The Norwegian 3D printing innovator is known for producing aerospace-grade, performance critical titanium components using its patented DMD (Direct Metal Deposition) additive manufacturing technology and proprietary plasma arc Rapid Plasma Deposition (RPD) 3D printing technology, which transforms titanium wire into complex components at 50-70% less cost and with 75% reduced time to market than comparable technologies. Norsk’s safety-critical, precision structural 3D printed parts have proven applications in the aerospace, defense, autosport and oceanic sectors, and the company successfully shipped 2.4 metric tons of titanium aerospace parts for certification testing in the second quarter of 2015.

The Federal Aviation Administration initially launched a test plan through Westmoreland Mechanical Testing & Research in September 2012 in order to determine Norsk’s Technology Readiness Level, a method of estimating the maturity of Critical Technology Elements that is recognized by the US Department of Defense, NASA, the ESA and many other aerospace institutions. The assessment examines the program concepts, technology requirements, and demonstrated technology capabilities, and then assigns a TRL based on a scale from one to nine, with nine being the most mature technology.

A TRL 8 generally means that the technology in question has been proven to work in its final form and is ‘flight qualified’ through test and demonstration. In almost all cases, it represents the end of true system development—the only higher achievement, TRL 9, means that the actual system has been flight proven through successful mission operations.

NASA's Technology Readiness Levels 

Having achieved TRL Eight, Norsk Titanium is now officially qualified to begin delivering precision structural 3D printed parts for aerospace and defense applications. Delivery of commercial aviation qualification parts is already underway, with the first approvals expected in early 2016. The next step will be full commercial production of titanium aerospace parts by the second half of the year.

“Working closely with Westmoreland, we have concisely documented how our innovative technology lives up to the highest standards of performance and integration under aerospace certification testing,” said Norsk Titanium President & Chief Executive Officer Warren M. Boley, Jr. “We subjected 1,300 structural titanium aircraft samples to an unrelenting barrage of static and fatigue tests and the results confirm what we already knew—Norsk Titanium’s RPD™ process is ready for the rigors of commercial aviation.”

Norsk Titanium has been working hard to develop a global supply base to fulfill aerospace part demand through extended operations and strategic alliances across Europe and the US. In October 2015, the company signed a $125 million deal with New York State to build an industrial-scale 3D printing facility in Plattsburgh, and just two weeks later, Norsk and Alcoa announced a Joint Technology and Industrial Cooperation program to develop commercial capabilities for lightweight metal 3D printing technology within the aerospace, defense, energy, automotive and maritime sectors.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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