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Alcoa to supply 3D printed aircraft parts to Airbus
Alcoa, a global leader in the light metals industry, has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Airbus to supply 3D-printed titanium fuselage and engine parts for the latter's commercial aircraft. Alcoa expects to deliver the first additively manufactured components to Airbus in mid-2016. 'We are proud to partner with Airbus to pave the way for the future of development and manufacturing in the aerospace industry,' said Klaus Kleinfeld, chairman and CEO of Alcoa. The strengths in strength and product inspection give Alcoa a leadership position in this exciting emerging field.” Airbus also chose Alcoa for its combined capabilities: from leadership in materials science to additive Experience in manufacturing and quality certification of aerospace parts, etc. To bolster its presence in additive manufacturing, Alcoa has completed a series of big moves over the past year, including the acquisition of RTI and expansion of its advanced manufacturing facility in Whitehall, Michigan. In addition to this, the company It has also invested $60 million in the technology center in Pittsburgh to develop 3D printing technology and metal powder materials. It now appears that these actions are not unrelated to the Airbus contract. For example, Alcoa has increased its 3D printing capabilities for titanium and specialty metals through the acquisition of RTI and its Austin facility. RTI has now been renamed Alcoa Titanium u0026 Engineered Products (ATEP). The agreement with Airbus will also take full advantage of ATEP's titanium ingot melting, billetizing, machining, surface treatment and inspection technologies. In addition, Alcoa will leverage advanced CT scanning and hot isostatic pressing (HIP) capabilities at its Whitehall facility. HIP is a technique for strengthening metal parts through high temperature and high pressure, which can strengthen titanium and nickel-based superalloy parts produced using conventional manufacturing and additive manufacturing. Thanks to its $22 million technology investment in the Whitehall plant, Alcoa currently has one of the largest facilities in the world for aerospace HIP technology. Alcoa did not disclose details of the partnership agreement with Airbus.