Kobe Steel begins mass production of titanium alloy forged material for large jet engine made by GE

January 23, 2017

Kobe Steel, Ltd.

TOKYO, January 23, 2017 — Kobe Steel, Ltd. announces that it has begun supplying titanium alloy forged material for shafts to IHI Corporation. The forged material certified by IHI is used in a large commercial jet engine manufactured by General Electric (GE). IHI is one of the joint development partners of the engine.

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.

Kobe Steel will supply titanium forged products of outstanding quality to the world aviation industry through the practical use of its excellent quality, advanced process engineering and design technology based on the extensive supply record to the aviation industry for many years, and additionally by using JForge’s advanced forging equipment, one of the world’s largest.

Additional Notes

Profile of IHI Corporation

Head office:
Tokyo, Japan
Capital:
107.1 billion yen
Representative:
Tsugio Mitsuoka, President and COO
Employees:
29,494 (consolidated, as of March 31, 2016)

Profile of Japan Aeroforge, Ltd.

Established:
January 2011
Head office:
Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan
Capital:
1.85 billion yen
Equity share ratio:
Hitachi Metals, Ltd. 40.53%, Kobe Steel, Ltd. 40.53%, IHI Corporation 5.41%, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. 5.41%, Marubeni-Itochu Steel Inc. 5.41%, and Sojitz Aerospace Corporation 2.70%
Representative:
Masayuki Okano, President

Kobe Steel’s titanium alloy forged part for IHI

Kobe Steel’s titanium alloy forged part for IHI

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