Alcoa to Supply 3D Printed Metal Parts for Airbus
Alcoa has been investing in 3D printing and metallic powder production capabilities.
As additive manufacturing becomes commonplace in the industry, more and more companies are looking to integrate 3D printing parts into their products. And Airbus is one of them. The aerospace giant has contracted lightweight metals distributor, Alcoa, to supply 3D printed titanium fuselage and engine pylon components for Airbus’ commercial aircraft.
“We are proud to partner with Airbus to help pave the way to the future of aerospace development and manufacturing,” said 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.”
Alcoa has recently been investing in 3D printing and metallic powder production capabilities and has a longstanding history advancing materials science to additive manufacturing and aerospace parts qualification, which is part of the reason why Airbus selected the company.
Airbus will leverage Alcoa’s comprehensive capabilities from advanced alloy development to finished part production.
Last year, Alcoa acquired RTI International Metals—now known as Alcoa Titanium & Engineered Products (ATEP). This acquisition grew Alcoa’s additive manufacturing capabilities to include 3D printed titanium and specialty metals parts. The Airbus agreement will leverage 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.