Alcoa has announced it has entered into an agreement with Airbus to supply additive manufactured titanium fuselage and engine pylon components for Airbus commercial aircraft. Alcoa stated that it expects to deliver the first additive manufactured parts to Airbus in mid 2016.
“We are proud to partner with Airbus to help pave the way to the future of aerospace development and manufacturing,” stated Alcoa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Klaus Kleinfeld. “The unique combination of our multi-material alloy development expertise, powder production capabilities, aerospace manufacturing strength and product qualification know-how position us to lead in this exciting, emerging space.”
The agreement will draw on Alcoa’s decades of aerospace experience and new technologies gained through the recent acquisition of RTI and organic expansion in Whitehall, Michigan, USA. Alcoa also recently invested in Additive Manufacturing and metallic powder production capabilities at its technical centre outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
Last year, Alcoa acquired RTI International Metals (RTI), now known as Alcoa Titanium & Engineered Products (ATEP), which grew Alcoa’s Additive Manufacturing capabilities to include 3D-printed titanium and specialty metals parts produced at ATEP’s Austin, Texas facility. The Airbus agreement will draw on these capabilities as well as ATEP’s titanium ingot melting and billetising, machining, finishing and inspection technologies.
Alcoa will employ advanced CT scan and Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) capabilities at its advanced aerospace facility in Whitehall, Michigan. Alcoa today owns and operates one of the largest aerospace HIP technology complexes in the world.