Friday, 20 April 2007

NFC develops titanium half alloy tubes for light combat aircraft

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: The city-based Nuclear Fuel Complex has developed titanium half alloy tubes for light combat aircraft heralding a new phase in indigenous technology for production of "safety critical components" in the defence sector. Titanium half alloy tubes are difficult-to-manufacture material.
The Aeronautical Development Agency, Bangalore, requires titanium half alloy tubing for application as hydraulic piping used for power transmission in light combat aircraft for Indian Air Force.
"NFC has got rich experience and expertise in processing anisotropic materials such as zirconium and titanium, especially by hot workign coupled with cold working processes. NFC has taken up the challenging task of making these tubes for LCA project," NFC chief executive RN Jayraj observed.
The NFC formally released the product at the "NFC Day" celebrations. The first batch of these tubes were handed over to Aeronautical Development Agency for further compnent level test, leading to airworthiness certification for use in Tejas light combat aircraft.
DRDO chief controller (research and development) Dr Dipankar Banerjee the LCA technology would get the "initial operatational clearance" by 2008 from the Indian Air Force. In the second stage, weapons will be integrated with the aircraft and in the third phase it would be integrated with radar system. Four aircraft are already in use. In the next two years twin seater trainer aircraft will be ready. He said the titanium tubes are used in hydraulic pressure control in aircraft.
The NFC also developed thorium oxide powder for development of certified reference materials. Thorium oxide is going to play a vital role as a major component as fuel for advanced heavy water reactor in the third stage of India's nuclear power programme. In view of the growing importance of thorium oxide in nuclear technology, it was felt essential to develop the product as it is not readily available in the international market for sale, Jayaraj said.

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