DRDO Develops Industrial Scale High Strength Beta-Titanium Alloy for Aerospace Use

The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) locally developed a high-strength metastable beta-titanium alloy containing vanadium, iron and aluminum, Ti-10V-2Fe-3Al at scale industrial for applications in aerospace structural forgings.

It was developed by Defense Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), a DRDO laboratory based in Hyderabad. These alloys are already in use by many developed countries in recent times as an advantageous substitute for traditional, relatively heavier Ni-Cr-Mo structural steels for weight savings.

The excellent forgeability of the high strength-to-weight ratio Ti-10V-2Fe-3Al alloy facilitates the fabrication of complex configuration components for aerospace applications with the potential for significant weight savings. Some of the components that can be forged from this alloy include slat / flap tracks, landing gear, and suspension linkage in the landing gear, among others.

High strength beta-titanium alloys are unique due to their higher strength, ductility, fatigue and toughness, making them increasingly attractive for aircraft structural applications. In addition, their relatively lower cost of life, due to their superior corrosion resistance than steels, is an effective compromise to justify the use of this expensive material in India, according to a statement.

The DMRL carried out the selection of raw materials, alloy smelting, thermomechanical processing, non-destructive ultrasonic evaluation (NDT), heat treatment, mechanical characterization and type certification in active collaboration with several agencies.

The Aviation Development Agency (ADA) has identified more than 15 steel components that could be replaced with Ti-10V-2Fe-3Al alloy forgings in the near future, with the potential for weight savings of 40% . The landing gear drop link is the first component successfully forged by ADA at HAL, Bengaluru with the participation of DMRL and duly certified for airworthiness.

Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh commended DRDO and the industry for the local development of a high strength metastable beta titanium alloy that will be useful for aerospace structural forgings.

Defense R&D Department Secretary and DRDO Chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy praised the dedicated efforts of the teams involved in the local development of this technology.

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