Titanium giant VSMPO-Avisma ordered a new forging press and ring-rolling mill for titanium alloys from SMS Meer. The production line will be installed at the operation in Yekaterinburg, Russia, with commissioning scheduled during the first quarter of 2015.
No value was announced for the order, though SMS Meer indicated the combination of forging and ring rolling with be the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
The new operation will produce large OD rings in titanium alloys for jet engine designs, indicating an expansion in product capabilities for the Russian producer.
Equipment to be supplied includes a SMS PL8000 hydraulic press for forming ring blanks; a radial-axle rolling machine; and a hydraulic ring expander machine for controlled plastic deformation of rings after rolling.
VSMPO-Avisma is an integrated mining and metallurgy group, and the world’s largest producer of titanium ingots and forged products. It has long-term titanium supply agreements in place with Boeing and Airbus, which are relying increasingly on titanium for its lightness and strength in aircraft design.
In recent months VSMPO has expanded the range of its supplier status to the commercial aircraft industry by forming a joint venture with Alcoa, involving shared expertise and manufacturing assets for producing forged titanium and aluminum parts in Russia.
VSMPO also expanded its cooperation with Boeing by agreeing to add more capacity for finish machining titanium forgings.
The new forging and ring rolling line will allow VSMPO to produce ring with complex internal and external profiles, SMS Meer indicated. It further noted that the process would be more effective at conserving material than the conventional forging processes now in use.