January 23, 2017
Kobe Steel, Ltd.
Rotating parts such as shafts and disks made of titanium alloy forged material must be of extremely high quality. These are some of the largest components used in aircraft jet engines. Kobe Steel launched development of the forged material three years ago and has recently received certification from IHI. Kobe Steel has begun mass-producing and supplying the titanium alloy forged material for shafts.
Kobe Steel is in charge of process design of the forged material for shafts, and its group company, Japan Aeroforge, Ltd. (or JForge) does the forging. Kobe Steel is responsible for the other processes as well and quality assurance.
JForge is a joint venture of Kobe Steel, Hitachi Metals and several other companies established in January 2011. Equipped with a 50,000 metric ton hydraulic forging press, one of the largest class in the world, JForge manufactures large forged material used in aircraft, where demand is anticipated to increase worldwide. Kobe steel and JForge will expand the titanium business for aircraft jet engines following the supply order from IHI.
Passenger jets in service worldwide are projected to increase from approximately 20,800 in 2015 to over 38,000 in 2035, according to Japan Aircraft Development Corporation, which promotes the development of commercial aircraft. As a result, demand is also anticipated to expand in related industries.
Kobe Steel is Japan’s leading supplier of titanium and titanium alloys, with integrated production from ingot melting to forged materials. For over 60 years, Kobe Steel has been supplying titanium forged materials, plate products and welded tubes to the aviation industry and general industry. Under its Medium-Term Management Plan launched in April 2016, Kobe Steel has positioned the aviation materials business, including titanium, as a core business sector for strategic growth.
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