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Howmet continues conversions with titanium component for M777 Howitzer.

Cast components continue playing a role in the redesign of the M777 lightweight Howitzer as Howitzer Castings (Alcoa Inc.), Greenwich, Conn., has begun converting the gun's cradle assembly from a fabricated structure to titanium investment castings. This casting assembly accompanies the 17 other cast components for the M777.

With multiple conversions to investment castings, the M777 is the only artillery unit that uses titanium as a major structural material. Currently the U.S. Marine Corp is targeting 2005 as when the newly constructed M777 will be used as field artillery. BAE Systems, Barrow-in-Furness, England, is manufacturing the unit. Although none are on the line yet, Howmet stays prepared as other M777 fabricated parts could also be converted to investment castings in the future.

By converting production to investment casting, past components have exhibited a 50% decrease in welding time, increased high-stress properties and reduced distortion. Designers see this as a viable production route and more components can be developed using this method. Castings also allow the artillery unit to be lighter in weight.
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Title Annotation:North America
Comment:Howmet continues conversions with titanium component for M777 Howitzer.(North America)
Publication:Modern Casting
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2004
Words:173
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