Surface retention of aerostructures

Reference number 2018-02830
Coordinator NewSoTech AB - NewSoTech
Funding from Vinnova SEK 2 507 530
Project duration September 2018 - September 2021
Status Ongoing
Venture The strategic innovation programme for lightweight
Call 2018-00728-en

Purpose and goal

In this project, Saab Aerostructures will evaluate the potential to reduce the weight of aircraft parts by substituting hard chrome coated steelwith the lighter, greener titanium material TiSurf from NewSoTech in Mora, Sweden. The aim is to verify that the TiSurf components can be made sufficiently strong, durable, and wear resistant for the demanding aircraft applications. We also aim to scale and adapt the TiSurf processes for aircraft applications and develop prototypes that meet the requirements and expectations of Saab and aircraft manufacturers.

Expected results and effects

The project is expected to lead to serial production of lightweight aero components in Sweden by Saab using the materials innovator NewSoTech as the subcontractor. A weight reduction of components by as much as 40 - 50 %, resulting in reduced fuel consumption of aircraft, is possible as a result of the lower density of titanium and innovative mechanical designs made possible by using TiSurf. The project will also advance TiSurf as a sustainable green alternative to hard chrome processing, which was recently banned in the EU (2017 REACH directive) due to environmental and health concerns.

Planned approach and implementation

TiSurf will be compared to hard chrome on steel by materials testing at Linköping University following standards of the aircraft industry. NewSoTech will harden titanium components with their proprietary TiSurf technology, adapting and optimizing the processing to Saab’s requirements for pilot production. Component prototypes will be made and tested by Saab and Linköping University under realistic conditions and demonstrated in an EU project within Clean Sky 2. If the results are promising, a business plan will be drafted aiming at materials qualification and serial production.

The project description has been provided by the project members themselves and the text has not been examined by our editors.