Friday, September 16, 2011

Lockheed Martin gets approval for Cryogenic titanium machining

Posted by-Neelam Mathews
Sept 16, 2011

Lockheed Martin says it has obtained government approval to use a groundbreaking cryogenic titanium machining process in production of the F-35 stealth fighter.

Cryogenic titanium machining improves cutting-tool life by a factor of 10 with appropriate material removal processing speed. Broadly applied, this new technology could improve affordability and efficiency in the production of the F-35, which is approximately 25 percent titanium by weight.

“This is a prime example of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) developed technology transitioning from the research and development phase to a system that can enhance affordability for near-term military projects, like the F-35,” said Mike Packer, vice president of Manufacturing Strategy &Technical Integration at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

The team of Creare Incorporated, H.M. Dunn Company, and MAG IAS has worked with Lockheed Martin, the US Navy Small Business Innovation Research Program Office and the F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) for several years on the development of the low flow cryogenic machining of titanium, funded through SBIR program awards.  The high performance titanium machining process was designed, developed and tested at Creare, Inc., headquartered in Hanover, N.H. 

Creare, a premier engineering research and development firm, led the technology development. H.M. Dunn of Euless, Texas, a Tier I supplier for the F-35 program, completed performance demonstrations in May.  MAG IAS, the world’s largest U.S. based machine tool builder headquartered in Erlanger, Ky., is commercializing the technology. 

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