Hyderabad: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has indigenously developed a high strength Metastable Beta Titanium Alloy containing Vanadium, Iron and Aluminium, Ti-10V-2Fe-3Al, on industrial scale for applications in aerospace structural forgings.
The alloy was developed by the DRDO-s city-based laboratory, the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL). The alloy, already being used by many nations in recent times as a substitute for the relatively heavier traditional Ni-Cr-Mo structural steel, helps achieve weight savings.
The excellent forgeability of high strength-to-weight ratio Ti-10V-2Fe-3Al alloy facilitates manufacture of intricately configured components for aerospace applications with potential for significant weight savings. Some of the components which may be forged from this alloy include slat/flap tracks, landing gear, and drop link in landing gear – among several others.
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. Their relatively lower lifetime cost, owing to superior corrosion resistance in comparison to steels, is an effective trade-off to justify the use of this expensive material in India too, according to an official press release.
The DMRL has carried out raw material selection, alloy melting, thermo-mechanical processing, ultrasonics-based Non Destructive Evaluation (NDE), heat treatment, mechanical characterization, and type certification in active collaboration with several agencies.
The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) has identified over 15 steel components which may be replaced by Ti-10V-2Fe-3Al alloy forgings in the near future with a potential of 40 percent weight savings. The landing gear drop link is the first component forged successfully by ADA at HAL, Bengaluru with DMRL’s involvement and duly certified for airworthiness.