A SURVEY OF THE COMPARATIVE COSTS OF FABRICATING AIRFRAME FROM ALUMINUM AND FROM TITANIUM.
BATTELLE MEMORIAL INST COLUMBUS OHIO DEFENSE METALS INFORMATION CENTER
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By process, the cost ratios for fabricating titanium and aluminum are about as follows Sheet Forming 1.5-2 to 1, Machining 1.5-2 to 1, Welding .8-2 to 1, Chemical Milling 3-4 to 1, Assembling 1.1 to 1, Forging 1.5-2.3 to 1, Heat Treating 1.5-5 to 1. The current cost estimates made by the experienced titanium fabricators represent realistic minimum cost ratios for the next 2 or 3 years. They are ratios which the less experienced fabricators should be able to approach in actual production. The experienced fabricators could probably not improve on them greatly in the next year or two. The above cost ratios apply only to specific fabrication operations such as forming, machining, welding, etc.. These operations account for only a fraction of the total cost of manufacturing an aircraft. Most of the manufacturing costs not covered by these operations would be largely unaffected by the choice of airframe material.