Allegheny Technologies Inc. is beginning a long-term supply deal wtih GE Aviation for a nickel-based superalloy, used to produce forged discs for jet engine components. ATI identified the alloy as Rene 65, a product that it began developing together with the General Electric Co. subsidiary, four years ago. "The short time involved in the development of Rene 65 alloy is unprecedented and required a tremendous engineering effort by GE and ATI,” stated Allegheny Technologies chairman Rich Harshman. “This process illustrates the value that our integrated aerospace supply chain brings to new product development.” .
The value and length of the agreement were not detailed, though ATI reported it covers Rene 65 mill products produced by its ATI Allvac operating unit and sold to GE Aviation and its suppliers. .
"This cooperative development effort between ATI and GE Aviation to create a cost-effective, disc-quality product for use in jet engines operating at increasingly higher temperatures began just over four years ago,” explained ATI chairman Rich Harshman. “GE and its supply-chain partners are in the process of taking advantage of the cost benefits and capabilities of Rene 65 alloy by implementing the alloy in both legacy and next-generation jet engines.”
ATI produces Rene 65 billets at its Titanium and Superalloy Forging Facility in Bakers, NC — recently the site of a $260-million expansion that (among other improvements) installed an integrated 10,000-ton press forge, 700-mm radial forge, and conditioning, finishing and inspection equipment for producing large-diameter products. .
The billets are forged into jet engine components at ATI Ladish in Cudahy, WI (as well as at other forgers), using both isothermal and hot-die forging.
“The real-time technology exchange between GE Aviation and ATI's mill product and forging metallurgists significantly compressed the time it took to take Rene 65 alloy from an idea to a qualified product," according to Harshman.