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IK4-IDEKO presents the progress made in the development of lightweight materials for the aerospace sector

IK4-IDEKO presents the progress made in the development of lightweight materials for the aerospace sector With the aim of developing a cleaner and more environmentally-friendly aerospace industry, these days the Basque technological centre IK4-IDEKO presents the progress made in the manufacture of lightweight materials for the aerospace industry achieved in the framework of the European Project MMTech.

 The MMTech initiative, launched in 2015, focuses on the development of lightweight and at the same time more resistant titanium alloys for use in the construction of aircrafts.

Since yesterday, IK4-IDEKO, as a member of the consortium of this project, is host to the sixth general meeting of the initiative presenting the progress achieved so far.

In the meeting finishing today, the Elgoibar company has presented the result of the new adaptive control system for the machining gamma-titanium aluminides (y-TiAl), some very light and resistant alloys which are considered the next generation of materials in the aerospace industry.  

"y-TiAl alloys have enormous potential to displace other types of materials commonly used in the aviation industry, due to its extraordinary specific resistance. However, the drawback of these solutions is the high cost and processing difficulty. The purpose of MMTech is to overcome these obstacles in order to be able to manufacture these materials efficiently and more economically," says the project coordinator of IK4-IDEKO, Alex Churches.

With a budget of 5.7 million euros, MMTech is working on the development of a comprehensive technology solution to enable competitive and efficient processing of these alloys.

 IK4-IDEKO's contribution

Within the initiative, IK4-IDEKO leads the work package dedicated to optimization of machining. In this area, the technology centre has succeeded in developing a revolutionary adaptive control system of vibrations during the machining process.

"The system is based on an algorithm to detect vibration on the machine using built-in sensors. Based on the measured signal, an automatic variation is applied to the cutting conditions and active damping to stabilise the process", the expert explained.

 In addition, IK4-IDEKO also works on the design of cutting tools specifically designed for stable machining under fixed conditions.

Finally, the technological centre is involved in the development of active solutions such as machining with variable dynamic tools or robot-assisted machining.

The MMTech project, framed in the Horizon 2020 program to promote technological innovation under the European Commission, will finalise in 2019.

The initiative, led by the University of Sheffield AMRC, also involves Mondragon University and the Italian multinational Fidia, among others.

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