Imet Alloys (U.S. Pavilion, Hall 3, AB110), a first-time exhibitor at the Paris Air Show, which describes itself as “an ambitious global company specializing in the control and management of superalloy and titanium from the aviation industry.” Founded by CEO Ruaraidh Williamson in 2011 and headquartered in Monroe, North Carolina, Imet Alloys helps companies control their superalloy and titanium scrap, known in the industry as “revert.”
The FAA-approved Boeing service bulletin for the 787 calls for modification of the charger and battery monitoring unit to narrow the acceptable level of charge. In essence, this means lowering the maximum charge allowed and raising the minimum level of discharge allowed. In other words, it cuts the performance gain the lithium-ion technology is supposed to bring.
A new aluminum-lithium foundry in Issoire, France, opened March 26 by aluminum specialist Constellium embodies the latest effort to regain ground lost to composite materials in aircraft construction. Dedicated to a new line of alloys dubbed Airware, the new casthouse has the capacity to produce 14,000 metric tons of aluminum-lithium per year, making it the world’s first large-scale production facility of the alloy.
Aluminum product developer Constellium (Hall 4 Stand H11) is increasing the percentage of recycled metal in the aircraft parts it produces, as it vies to lower the cost and environmental impact of using metals and to prove that composites are not the answer to everything. The French group’s latest Airware technology is now at the production stage for new airliner programs such as the Airbus A350 XWB and the Bombardier CSeries.
Aluminum product developer Constellium wants to increase the percentage of recycled metal it produces for aerospace in a bid to realize both economic and environmental goals. The value of such alloys has grown with the addition of elements such as copper, silver and—critically—lithium. One kilogram (2.2 pounds) of aluminum costs about $2, while one kilogram of lithium—the lightest metal in nature—costs $100.
Aluminum maker Alcan Global Aerospace has won two major contracts on the new Airbus A350 XWB and the Bombardier C Series aircraft for which it will supply light alloys from its new Airware range. Airware combines technologies and services to improve metal performance, reduce cost and facilitate recycling.
Snecma and GE Aviation are developing new materials to make future engines lighter and improve their efficiency. In the works are alloys using exotic metals such as niobium, and composites using organic, ceramic or metal matrices. The two companies will employ these technologies for the Leap-X engine they are developing under their CFM joint venture (Hall 4 Stand B13) and possibly for other projects.
Bombardier Challenger 300 operators now have a choice of replacing the jet’s original nickel-cadmium main ship battery with a new Concorde RG-441 lead-acid battery. The FAA has awarded Concorde (Booth No. 2039) a supplemental type certificate (STC No. ST01488WI) for installation of the RG-441 lead-acid battery.
Sherwin-Williams Aerospace Coatings has introduced a full line of primers that are free of chrome and lead hazards. The products meet three key industry requirements–faster priming application, protection of the aircraft substrate and compliance with OSHA standards for chromate and lead exposure.
Complex materials, made of carbon fiber composites and a metal, are tricky to characterize. “We already know that titanium is a better match than aluminum with carbon fiber,” research coordinator Benoît Sagot-Duvauroux said. But now researchers are endeavoring to put numbers on corrosion and dilatation issues, for example. Simulation of real-world operating conditions is the key to success in this work.
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