Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Evaluation of NDT Techniques for Assessment of Critical Process and Manufacturing Related Flaws and Defects for a Ti-alloy

Project description

A non-destructive method of testing 3D-printed aircraft alloy parts

Ti-6Al-4V is a titanium alloy that is used in a wide range of applications where high strength, light weight and excellent corrosion resistance are essential, such as in the aerospace industry. Additive manufacturing promises to revolutionise Ti-6Al-4V alloy manufacturing, allowing the design of functional components with complex geometric shapes and reduced weight without sacrificing component strength and safety. Damage tolerance assessment methods for 3D-printed aircraft parts are critical for approving additive manufacturing in aircraft structural components and meeting functional and safety requirements. The main goal of the EU-funded 3TANIUM project is to develop non-destructive methods of securely detecting critical flaws and defects that additive manufacturing can introduce, and to understand their impact on the mechanical properties of Ti-6Al-4V parts.


To improve aircraft resource-efficiency and to decrease fuel consumption and CO2 emissions innovative solutions with superior mechanical properties for advanced structures are in development. Ti6Al4V alloys, due to a high strength-to-weight ratio compared to steel or aluminium can keep the structural weight and size ratio low. However, lightweight construction with this alloy is currently only possible with conventional techniques as CNC machining, casting that lead to a high proportion of raw material removal. This is not cost-efficient and works with a high ecological footprint. A primary alternative for fabrication of advanced functional lightweight metallic parts is additive manufacturing (AM), offering benefits in terms of weight, design and functionality, lead time and cost/manufacturability and allowing for alternative geometric shapes, thereby decreasing the weight of the component without sacrificing component strength and safety. However, AM has not yet been approved for structural components with high safety requirements to date, as there are still technology gaps: material property control, correlation between process and structural properties, effect of defects, quality control. Material and mechanical properties of AM parts differ substantially from the properties of the same parts produced by conventional casting. Therefore, a damage tolerance assessment needs to be performed for AM parts in commercial aircraft applications to meet functional and safety requirements. The main objective of the 3TANIUM is the establishment of NDT methods that are capable to provide the secure detection of process related critical flaws and defects and to understand their effects on material and mechanical properties in Ti6Al4V AM parts. 3TANIUM will quantitatively assess the applicability of NDT methods applied on appropriately and innovatively post-treated (heat- and surface-treated) AM parts in order to realize benefits offered by AM in the aeronautical industry.


Net EU contribution
€ 196 485,00
Viktor kaplan strasse 2
2700 Wiener neustadt

See on map


The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Ostösterreich Niederösterreich Niederösterreich-Süd
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (3)