For Release: March 30, 2001
Media Relations Office
Paul Bartolotta, senior materials research engineer at the NASA Glenn Research Center, and an international team of researchers on March 29 received a 2001 NorTech Innovation Award. The team's innovations were an economical method for making titanium aluminide sheet and the methods for forming it into aerospace components.
Working through NASA contracts and agreements, Bartolotta, Gopal Das, a materials specialist with Pratt & Whitney, West Palm Beach, FL, and Heinrich Kestler, head of gamma-titanium aluminide development with Plansee Aktiengesellschaftnse, Reutte, Austria, developed powder metallurgy techniques for making titanium aluminide sheet. The production costs are one-tenth those of ingot-based titanium sheet. Now commercially available from Plansee as Gamma-met, the light weight but stiff material is replacing heavier superalloys in critical, high-temperature aerospace components.
Bartolotta and Robert Leholm, staff engineer, and John Meaney, senior staff engineer, both of BF Goodrich Aerospace Aerostructures Group, Chula Vista, CA, developed the forming techniques for Gamma-met. The techniques include sheet rolling, relatively low-temperature hot forming, joint brazing and bonding, and heat treatment after machining to relieve stresses around rivet holes. All the processes can be done using regular production equipment.
NorTech Innovation awards, formerly known as the EDI Innovation Awards, are named for the Northeast Ohio Technology Coalition (NorTech), the technology affiliate of Cleveland Tomorrow. The awards honor innovators and companies for the creating some of the best new products in Northeast Ohio. The awards program is sponsored by Key Bank, Ernst & Young, Squire Sanders, the Ohio Department of Development, Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management and its subsidiary Enterprise Development, Inc.
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Note To Local Editors: Dr. Bartolotta is a resident of Medina, OH. A print quality image supporting this release is available at
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