OLIVER (Optimised Laser welding Implementation Via Enabling Research

Abstract

Current socio-economic pressures on the global civil aerospace industry are increasing the utilisation of

titanium in aero-structures. Production of parts by existing methods leads to inefficient buy-to-fly ratios (as

high as 20:1), which is becoming increasingly uneconomical (high material cost & labour intensive; leading to

high repeat costs, long lead times & design constraints) and driving the need for structures to be fabricated by

near-net-shape welding processes. Laser welding is emerging as the process of choice since it can produce low

distortion welds of good quality and properties at significantly faster speeds than other welding processes. The

OLIVER project will further develop knowledge in laser welding titanium and its application to structural

aerospace assemblies, and at the same time exploit this knowledge by developing UK manufacturing capability

both within the UK supply chain and OEMs. Project OLIVER includes 2 OEM case studies which represent first-

to-market opportunities for the technologies to be developed. A further case study is included which will

demonstrate the capability of laser welding a strut component in a revolutionary titanium-composite.

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