Story of Titan Matrix Composites – Episode 3: Technology
Over the past 30 years, titanium metal matrix composites (Ti MMCs) have been under considerable development and evaluation for use in aircraft engine and airframe applications. For airframers, the high specific modulus of Ti MMCs has been the impetus, while engine makers have sought to take advantage of their high specific strength, especially for compressor rotor applications.
During this time, different methods for the production of TMC was applied.
The main procedures are explained with their specifics in the following:
Foil – Fiber – Foil Technology
For many years, Ti MMCs were primarily fabricated using foil/fabric processes.
High foil costs associated with cross-roll processing of the preferred titanium alloys combined with high fiber costs and low volume demands caused Ti MMCs to only be considered for very high payoff applications. Additionally, a lack of reproducible quality for foil/fabric Ti MMC components precluded their introduction into aerospace applications.
- Contact between fibers
- Mech. properties suboptimal
- High shrinkage rate
- Lack of Quality
Plasma Flame Spray Technology
- Cost sensitive
- Simple process
- High package density
- Process control
- Fatigue values in need of improvement
Electron Beam Deposition
- Fiber distance distribution
- Material properties
- Cost intensive
- X-Ray Protection
- Certain elements of alloys evaporate, when alloy contains more than 3 elements
For the engineers of KTW Systems the only reliable process to manufacture TMC is
Magneton Sputter Process
1.Step: Endless Si-C Fiber spooled on fixture
2. Step: Sputter Process
3. Step: Filling of specimen with coated fibers
4. Step: Vacuum welding
5. Step: Hot isostatic pressing
6. Step: Working out the final shape
Combining the benefits of additive manufacturing (3D) with TMC can greatly expand the possibilities for modern components and is the way to a cost effective manufacturing process of TMC!
Advantages of the Magnetron Sputter Process:
No.1: Optimal fiber distance distribution
No.2: Perfect material properties
No.3: Reproducibility (serial production)
No.4: Different metal matrix composites possible
No.6: No X-Rays