Titanium Cutting Capacity At a Plateau

Titanium Cutting Capacity At a Plateau

The accompanying chart illustrates the progress of cutting tool technologies, beginning with the development of high-speed steel cutting tools in the early part of the last century, through the use of computer software to optimize cutting programs. Titanium machining, which began in aerospace in the 1940s, is graphed as having a modest-but-steady growth in removal rate per hour through the 1970s, then rapidly advancing from the late 1970s through 2000. However, since 2000, titanium cutting capacity has leveled out, restricted by advances in materials that have made titanium alloys nearly as hard as the tools that are used to cut them, and by slower advances in cutting tool technologies. This plateau in cutting technology is presenting a serious problem as Boeing Company and other aircraft manufacturers increase their use of these advanced titanium alloys, and require more titanium products to be machined.

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