SpaceX to use superalloys in Mars rocket Raptor engines, says Elon Musk (US)

SpaceX’s current Texas facilities feature a test stand for Raptor, the engine intended to power BFR and BFS to Mars. (SpaceX)

A few days after he touched upon methods of creating BFR propellant on Mars, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk mentioned in a tweet that the launch company was using cutting-edge combinations of metals (known as superalloys) to ensure the efficiency and reliability of its Raptor rocket engine, a critical requirement for BFR to enable sustainable colonization of Mars. In response to a tweeted question about types of metal alloys currently in use at SpaceX, Musk briefly delved into the complexities of building BFR’s propulsion system, particularly with respect to alloys capable of surviving the intense conditions inside a rocket engine:

“[SpaceX is using] SX 300 & soon SX 500. Kind of a modern version of Inconel superalloys. High strength at temperature, extreme oxidation resistance. Needed for ~800 atmosphere, hot, oxygen-rich turbopump on Raptor rocket engine.” – Elon Musk

There’s a lot to break down for the layperson in Musk’s tweet. First and foremost, commenters (your author included) immediately jumped to the conclusion that “SX 300/500” referred to some sort custom SpaceX material, given that SX is a frequent shorthand for Continue reading

Sweden starts construction on fossil fuel-free steel plant (US)

Swedish Prime Minister Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Bengt Kjell, Chairman of the Board SSAB, Marten Gornerup, CEO Hybrit, Jan Mostrom, CEO LKAB, Magnus Hall, CEO Vattenfall, Martin Lindqvist, CEO SSAB, Réni Kolessar, Research Director of Energy Agency and Isabella Lovin Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister, from left, take part in a ceremony marking the construction of pilot plant for fossil-free steel production, a collaboration between LKAB, Vattenfall and SSAB, in the SSAB industrial area in Lulea, Sweden Wednesday June 20, 2018. Sweden has started construction on a factory in the northeastern town of Lulea that will test whether it’s feasible to make steel without burning fossil fuels. (Credit Photo @Gustav Sjöholm/TT via AP)

A significant green step is taken outside Luleå for an industry that accounts for about a quarter of direct CO2 emissions in global industry production.

Would it be possible to produce steel without using coal to turn iron into hardened steel? Yes, if to believe a industry consortium in northern Sweden that now invests 1,4 billion kronor (€136 million) in a pilot plant. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Stefan Löfen traveled north to underline the importance of the project for Sweden’s green shift. «I’m really happy and proud to take part here today. We in Sweden show the roadmap to something that could be the largest technological shift in a 1,000 years,» Löfen said in his speech quoted Continue reading

Kobe Steel chief apologizes to shareholders (US)

Participants arrive for the general shareholders meeting of Kobe Steel Ltd. in Kobe on Thursday

KOBE (Jiji Press) — The chief of Kobe Steel Ltd. apologized to shareholders on Thursday over a product data falsification scandal involving the company. “We deeply apologize for causing inconvenience to shareholders and clients,” Mitsugu Yamaguchi, Kobe Steel president and chief executive officer, said at a general meeting of shareholders in Kobe. “We are working in a unified manner to prevent similar misconduct from happening again,” said Yamaguchi, promising to revamp the corporate culture of the company to restore trust. The management was grilled by many participants at the shareholders’ meeting, the first since Kobe Steel announced the data Continue reading

Midhani to Cut Reliance on Chinese Special Steels Imports (US)

Midhani, a Government of India enterprise under the Defence Ministry, produces special steel, super-alloys and is the sole manufacturer of titanium alloys in the country.

Hyderabad: The Mishra Dhatu Nigam (Midhani) Limited, a special grade metal maker, is looking at reducing dependency on China for the strategic metals used in defence products as it was facing issues over pricing and quality of imported materials, a top official of the PSU said. “There are issues in terms of pricing by Chinese companies on imports of some of the special grade metals used in making defence products. Apart from this, the quality of Chinese materials is also sometimes inferior,” city-based Midhani Chairman andContinue reading

Norsk Titanium Marks Milestone in US Production (US)

PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK — June 18, 2018 — Norsk Titanium (NTi), the world’s first FAA-approved supplier of aerospace-grade, additive manufactured, structural titanium components, announced today a major milestone in qualified production. NTi’s Plattsburgh, New York Development and Qualification Center (PDQC) site was officially added to Boeing’s Qualified Producers List (QPL) on May 1 and initiated qualified production on May 15 by manufacturing its first part under the Boeing contract. This milestone is a culmination of recent company successes including certification under AS9100D and the October 2017 dedication of PDQC by New York Governor Continue reading

International Titanium Association Honors Russell Gordon Sherman With Lifetime Achievement Award (US)

Russell Gordon Sherman (pictured), who developed alloys and heat treating protocols for the titanium industry and pioneered the high-volume production of titanium aerospace fasteners, is the recipient of the International Titanium Association’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award. The ITA will formally present Sherman with the award at the TITANIUM USA 2018 Conference and Exhibition, October 7-10 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Frauke Hogue, FASM (Fellow of American Society for Materials), an ITA educational instructor and an executive and metallographer with Hogue Metallography, Pacific Palisades, CA, in a nomination form for the prestigious award, lauded Sherman’s distinguished career. “The entire titanium industry has benefited from Sherman’s research into developing a higher strength Continue reading

US firm Lockheed Martin will transfer titanium tech. and new patriot missiles to Taiwan (US)

Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control department will transfer technology and training for Taiwan’s defense industry to produce its own aerospace and military grade titanium.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Ministry of National Defense (MND), on Friday, June 15 announced that the Unites States had agreed to transfer new military technologies to Taiwan to bolster the country’s domestic defense industry.According to reports, Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control department will transfer technology and training for Taiwan’s defense industry to produce its own aerospace and military grade titanium, as part of a deal that will also include six sets of Patriot Advanced Capability – 3 (PAC-3) missiles and upgrade kits for PAC-2 missiles. The titanium production technology will allow Taiwan to bolster its armoring capabilities as well asContinue reading

Rolls-Royce Titanium Parts Shortage to Delay 787 Engine Fix (US)

Rolls’s turbine blades are forged at a handful of sites globally that it controls, including a new factory in Rotherham, England, that was billed as the world’s most-advanced facility when it opened in 2015. The company has only one supplier for titanium compressor blades, Techjet Aerofoils Ltd., a venture it partly owns, though efforts are underway to source further producers for both items, according to the people.

  •  Rolls suppliers struggle to meet demand for compressor blades
  •  Issue could be compounded by glitch with new batch of turbines

Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc is wrestling with a shortage of parts needed to repair hundreds of faulty engines that power Boeing Co.’s 787 wide-body jets, further stretching a tight timetable for repairs. The fix for excessive wear on the Trent 1000 turbines is taking about three days longer than planned in some cases due to a shortfall in stocks of compressor blades, said the people, who asked not to be named as the supply bottleneck hasn’t been made public. Airlines are already being forced to lease replacement planes, sometimes for months, to maintain flights while Rolls-powered 787s are grounded for repairs. The number of idled jets reached 43 last week, according to the people, and the strain on component supplies could worsen after it was revealed Monday that durability issues extend to an earlier version of the engine. The parts crunch comes as Chief Executive Officer Warren East prepares to unveil job cuts from steps to simplify Continue reading

VSMPO-AVISMA Reports an Increase in Exports to European Countries (US)

VSMPO-AVISMA published one’s annual report. In 2017, the Corporation continued to strengthen its leading positions as the key supplier of titanium products for foreign consumers. Last year, the main export route of VSMPO-AVISMA were European countries – their share rose to 47%. Despite a reduction in the Corporation’s revenue in ruble equivalent due to ruble strengthening, it still reached 72.4 billion rubles. Net profit was 19.1 billion rubles, and EBITDA reached 29.1 billion rubles. In volume terms, the sales of titanium increased by 14% to 28.8 thousand tons. The increase in export was 26% due to a higher demand from foreign aircraft industry companies. Last year, the main export routes for VSMPO-AVISMA were European countries – their share rose to 47%, while USA isContinue reading

AddUp acquires DED steel 3D printing firm BeAM (US)

AddUp, the French leader in the design, production and marketing of metal 3D printing machines and production lines, based in Clermont-Ferrand, a joint-venture between Fives and Michelin, today announced the acquisition of BeAM, based in Strasbourg, a leader in the Directed Energy eposition (DED) technology, an additive manufacturing process dedicated to the production of large parts and the repair market. Created in 2012 in Strasbourg with subsidiaries in Cincinnati and Singapore, BeAM is a French manufacturer of industrial metal additive manufacturing machines which use the DED technology and has a broad range of customers both in France and abroad, in particular, in the aeronautics, defense and energy sectors. The 100% acquisition of BeAM will enable AddUp to expand its portfolio of Continue reading