Back in April, Norsk Titanium announced that it had produced the first-ever 3D printed structural titanium components for a commercial airliner. The components will be a part of Boeing’s Dreamliner aircraft, and were produced using Norsk Titanium’s patented Rapid Plasma Deposition (RPD) 3D printing technology. RPD is a unique process that involves melting titanium wire in a cloud of argon gas, resulting in strong, near net shape parts that need little or no machining after they’ve finished printing.
Thanks to a new investment in Norsk Titanium by Triangle Holdings, we may soon be seeing a lot more RPD-produced parts in the aerospace industry.
“This strategic investment from Triangle Holdings allows Norsk Titanium to extend our Rapid Plasma Deposition capability fully into the commercial aerospace sector and beyond that- and accelerates its revolutionary changes to metal manufacturing process forever,” said Norsk Titanium Chairman of the Board John Andersen, Jr. “The capabilities of Triangle and its affiliates are extraordinary, and the ambition demonstrated by this strategic investment will bring Norsk Titanium’s customers unprecedented application opportunities.”
Triangle Holdings is an aerospace investment company owned by funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group LLC. Since its formation in 2011, Triangle has invested more than $1.2 billion in the aerospace industry. Terms of the investment in Norsk Titanium were not disclosed.
“Based on a Strategic Cooperation Memorandum, our investment in Norsk Titanium reflects our strategy of investing in game-changing businesses across the aerospace sector,” said Jeremy Barnes, a partner in Triangle. “We look forward to working with Norsk Titanium on proliferating its RPD technology.”
In July of last year, Norsk Titanium released details about a planned additive manufacturing plant in Plattsburgh, New York. The plant will be the world’s first industrial-scale aerospace additive manufacturing plant, and the company plans to invest $1 billion into it over the next 10 years. The State of New York, meanwhile, has already invested $125 million. The plant is expected to be operational by the end of this year.
“Our focus is on the integration of advanced technologies with smart production and Industrial Internet-of-Things, which will bring a unique set of competences to our platform technology,” said Norsk Titanium President and CEO Warren M. Boley, Jr. “The fourth industrial revolution is being designed by corporations and individuals who display great vision and bold execution, and I am immensely proud to add Fortress as a partner on this ambitious journey.”
If you’ll be at the International Paris Air Show next week, you can stop by Norsk Titanium’s booth in Hall 1, Space H299, to get a look at the 3D printed components for the Dreamliner, as well as a full-scale mock-up of the MERKE IV Rapid Plasma Deposition machine, which 3D printed the components. The International Paris Air Show will be taking place from June 19 to 25.