A new cooperation with Airbus Alcoa: continue to manufacture large aircraft parts for 3D printing
In November 16, 2017, it held in German Frankfurt 2017formnext exhibition, Alcoa Corp (Alcoa) has officially announced with his old friend Airbus signed a new multi-year cooperation agreement to further study, using metal 3D printing production and validation of large aircraft parts.
It is reported that the new partnership will be Arconic (one of the spin off company Alcoa Aerospace attention 3D printing) the metallurgy and metal 3D printing professional knowledge, design and certification ability of Airbus, and certification regulatory agencies combined. The two companies will jointly develop 3D printing 3 feet long large metal aircraft structure (such as rib structure and hanging pole) parameters and process.
Arconic will test high-speed electron beam deposition technology in its factories in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and then use it to print 3D aircraft components. This method is not only large in size, but also the highest speed, which can reach 100 times of other metal 3D printing technology, so it is very suitable for manufacturing large aviation structural parts.
At the same time, according to the cooperation agreement, Arconic will also display its unique Ampliforge process. In fact, it is the integration of 3D printing and traditional manufacturing technology, which will be processed by another process (such as forging) when 3D printing parts are nearing completion, so as to improve its strength, toughness and fatigue resistance. At the same time, this process simplifies the whole process, shortens the production cycle, and reduces the material consumption.
It is worth mentioning that, in fact, Arconic has already reached a cooperation with Airbus - in September 2017, Airbus first put a 3D printed titanium bracket installed on the A350XWB airliner. Now, Arconic is using laser powder bed technology to print more of this bracket for Airbus 3D in its Texas plant.