WICHITA, Kan.—Researchers at Spirit AeroSystems are working to commercialize a new proprietary method for shaping titanium raw material at elevated temperatures in the fabrication of aerospace components. Spirit AeroSystems has trademarked the Joule Form™ process, which, the company said, provides a competitive advantage in the use of titanium, a highly desirable material thanks to its combination of strength and light weight.
“This is an emerging manufacturing improvement for shaping metallic plate products that can replace more expensive techniques, such as die forgings and extrusions,” said Kevin Matthies, Spirit’s senior vice president, Global Fabrication, in a prepared release. ”Implementing this new technology will allow advanced production for parts such as those for propulsion systems. No one else in the industry has a comparable high-tech and cost-saving solution for this application.”
Spirit AeroSystems (www.spiritaero.com) designs and builds aerostructures for both commercial and defense customers. With headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, Spirit operates sites in the U.S., U.K., France, and Malaysia. The company’s core products include fuselages, pylons, nacelles, and wing components for the world’s premier aircraft.
“The Spirit R&D team is constantly looking at new and innovative ways to support our customers. It’s one of our differentiators in the marketplace for aerospace structures,” said Spirit President and CEO Tom Gentile. ”The Joule Form™ process allows us to increase utilization of titanium markedly, and ultimately decrease machined-part cost to enhance Spirit’s competitiveness further.
“Returning value to our customers is one of the focuses of our R&D team,” Gentile added. “We want to ensure that we are building the highest quality products in the most cost effective way. Sometimes that means adding automation, sometimes that means developing a new process or working with a new material.”