Problem: The Air Force is pursuing the use of new alloys for reinforced composite parts for aircraft. These new alloys possess excellent toughness and high temperature creep resistance. However, these alloys are too hard for conventional rolling from ingots to foil thin enough to make fiber-reinforced composites. Ribbon Technology Corporation was looking for a way to evaluate the feasibility of pack rolling direct cast titanium aluminde strip into foil, including the pack design, for commercial use. A process was developed to apply a rapid solidification casting technology to direct cast fiber and strip material. This process makes strips of metal by passing molten metal over a rotating wheel. The strips, however, are too thick to make fiber reinforced composites for Air Force use. Together, Ribbon Technology and the Air Force Research Laboratory's Materials and Manufacturing Directorate (AFRL/ML) partnered together to assist each other in solving these problems.
Solution: Under the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), AFRL/ML scientists developed a novel rolling process to form new military alloys. This rolling process uses a special encapsulation technique to roll hard-to-work alloys, in this case titanium aluminide, and allows the rolling of thin foils from billets of titanium aluminide. Ribbon Technology supplied material and manufacturing expertise to test the process. AFRL provided testing and analysis of the process materials.
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