Landing gear drop link was first component forged successfully by ADA at HAL, Bengaluru

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a high strength titanium alloy on industrial scale for applications in aerospace structural forgings.

“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,” a DRDO statement said. Further, their relatively lower lifetime cost, owing to superior corrosion resistance in comparison to steels, was an effective trade-off to justify the use of this expensive material in India too, it stated.

The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) haD identified over 15 steel components that may be replaced by the alloy forgings in the near future with a potential of 40% weight savings. “Some of the components which may be forged from this alloy include slat and flap tracks, landing gear and drop link in landing gear – among several others,” the DRDO said.

Beneficial substitute

The high strength metastable beta titanium alloy, Ti-10V-2Fe-3Al, containing Vanadium, Iron and Aluminium, was developed by the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL). These alloys were being used by many developed nations in recent times as a beneficial substitute for the relatively heavier traditional structural steels to achieve weight savings, the statement said.

The landing gear drop link was the first component forged successfully by the ADA at HAL, Bengaluru, with the DMRL’s involvement and duly certified for airworthiness.

The excellent forgeability of high strength-to-weight ratio Ti-10V-2Fe-3Al alloy facilitated the manufacture of intricately configured components for aerospace applications with potential for significant weight savings, the statement added.

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