Alcoa to supply metal parts for Airbus

Alcoa, Lightweight metals leader, has recently entered into an agreement with Airbus to supply 3D-printed titanium fuselage and engine pylon components for Airbus commercial aircraft. Alcoa expects to deliver the first additive manufactured parts to Airbus in mid-2016.

Alcoa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Klaus Kleinfeld said “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. Alcoa also recently invested in 3D-printing and metallic powder production capabilities at its technical center outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Alcoa acquired RTI International Metals (RTI) last year, 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 billetizing, 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. HIP is a technology that strengthens the metallic structures of traditional and additive manufactured parts made of titanium and nickel based superalloys.