LASER ENGRAVED SR-71 TITANIUM ID / DOG TAG
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Historical Background on SR-71 Titanium
Clarence "Kelly" Johnson quotes about the SR-71 Titanium and problems during it's development.No
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"The tough titanium actually is a very sensitive material to handle."
is such a ridged material that it cannot be shoved into place - as can
some other metals and therefore cut to less-exact tolerances."
"It must be tooled to fit. "This exact tooling is very expensive-"
"Special tools were required, a drill would be totally destroyed after about 17 rivet holes."
"We were paying $119 per foot for titanium extrusions, and it was costing us $19 per inch to machine them".
(That's early 1960's dollars)
Kelly Johnson's narration of the Blackbird titanium parts fabrication process.
"Hot sizing process at ADP is used to form close tolerance parts from titanium sheet metal.
A furnace is used to preheat steel dies to 1400 degrees F.
The hot die is then move to a hot sizing press where they are then kept hot by electric heaters.
hydraulically operated hot sizing press applies pressure to the
titanium parts holding them at a constant temperature and pressure for a
processing period of 15 minutes.
The parts are then removed from the dies and allowed to cool.
Parts are then pickled and cleaned and then readied for assembly.
Spot welding machines with close current controls are use to assemble many of the Blackbird airframe components.
This equipment is of special design and suitable only for a sophisticated titanium alloy."
The secret code name used by the Lockheed Skunk Works for this material was "Unobtainium".
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