GKN Aerospace has announced plans for a new North American Additive Manufacturing centre of excellence to be located in the Lone Star Commerce Center in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. The 9,300 m2 facility will initially house research & development of AM technology for large-scale titanium aerostructures.
Existing equipment and personnel will be transferred from Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility in Tennessee to the new site in Texas. Plans are in place for an additional larger AM cell, and, when at full capacity, the centre will house up to 100 personnel.
“We are very excited to bring our additive technology research to Fort Worth. With proximity to many of our major customers in Texas and across the US, this is the right place for GKN Aerospace,” stated Shawn Black, GKN Aerospace’s president of Defense. “Along with a partnership with local government, we look forward to expanding our titanium Additive Manufacturing capabilities and pushing the boundaries of this technology for our customers and the aerospace industry.”
Over the next few years, GKN Aerospace expects to transform the facility into its fourth Global Technology Center to complement existing centres in Sweden, the Netherlands, and the UK.
GKN Aerospace has decades of experience in advanced aero-engine component development and large aerostructure expertise, with AM components currently flying on platforms across the civil, engines and space markets. The company is an expert in the use of Laser Metal Deposition with wire (LMD-w), a Directed Energy Deposition (DED) technology, and recently completed its largest titanium AM demonstration part to date, with the production of a component measuring 2.5 metres and processed from approximately 45 kg of titanium wire.