An open day has been held to mark the completion of the largest-ever research project backed by Innovate UK for developing low-cost titanium alloy structural parts. Tifab event web

The event in Halesowen demonstrated the results of the £2.6m, three-year TiFab programme which brought together consortium members CAV Advanced Technologies, KUKA, Ten Solutions and The Welding Institute.

With input from several OEMs, the project has examined more than 170 aircraft components and explored the use of linear friction welding to join lightweight alloy parts.

The study's successful outcomes have included the development of a unique, patented, cost-effective tooling system for tailored blank production and simultaneous welding of linear friction welded parts.

As well as predicting annual raw material savings of around £9m, the project has also estimated that manufacturers could save more than 200 tonnes of titanium a year.

Visitors to the event were able to see a linear friction welding process demonstration featuring KUKA's LR50 machine. Consortium members also gave a series of presentations on the programme.