NEW YORK RTI International Metals Inc. has landed its first long-term supply contract with a major original equipment manufacturer (OEM) under a program unveiled nearly two years ago aimed at rebuilding its engine business, RTI said, announcing a 13-year deal with Pratt & Whitney Corp. (P&W).
P&W is the engine launch customer for production of RTIs electron beam furnace, the Pittsburgh-based company said. The furnace, a key part of RTIs effort to increase its role in the market for rotor-quality mill products for jet engines, recently started commercial production in Canton, Ohio (amm.com, May 1
Neither the amount of titanium nor the financial terms of the contract with East Hartford, Conn.-based P&W were disclosed. The products supplied to P&W, a division of United Technologies Corp., are for the engine makers new family of geared turbofan jet engines.
The P&W agreement marks the re-emergence of RTI as a competitive supplier in the rotor-quality, jet engine market for titanium, a market currently estimated to be approximately 30 million pounds annually, according to Dawne S. Hickton, vice chairwoman, president and chief executive officer of RTI.
In 2011, when RTI announced it was building the electron beam furnace, Hickton said less than 20 percent of the companys aerospace business came from engine-related sales vs. the airframe sector (amm.com, Aug. 9, 2011
RTI two months earlier signed a long-term engine supply deal with MTU Aero Engines GmbH, under which it would provide rotor-grade billet through 2021 to the German manufacturer (amm.com, June 23, 2011
The P&W supply agreement also validates RTIs decision to invest in electron beam technology and strategically positions the company for further successes in this market, Hickton said.
Electron beam meltingalong with another cold-hearth process, plasma-arc meltingin some cases carries a number of advantages over the more traditional vacuum-arc remelt (VAR) process, industry sources said.
Cold-hearth technology generally can use a higher proportion of scrap than VAR, is considered more reliable for eliminating inclusions in the furnace mix, and certain alloys that require triple VAR melts can often be produced with an initial cold-hearth melt followed by one subsequent VAR melt.
RTIs VAR melting capacity is located at its Niles, Ohio, facility.