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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Alcan showcases innovative aluminium solutions
Article Type: Materials From: Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, Volume 81, Issue 6
Alcan Global Aerospace Transportation and Industry (Global ATI), part of Alcan Engineered Products, a business unit of Rio Tinto Alcan, showcased a broad range of aluminium alloy and manufacturing innovations at the recent Paris Air Show, further demonstrating its ability to deliver long-term benefits to civil, commercial and defence aerospace and space customers world-wide.
“Alcan Global ATI plays a leading role in developing advanced materials that shape the current and next generation aircraft,” said Christophe Villemin, president of Alcan Global ATI. “As the Paris Air Show celebrates its 100th anniversary, we look forward to presenting a wide selection of our most significant innovations., Our products are designed in close co-operation with the major aerospace industry players to help them build environmentally friendly, reliable and always more cost-effective aircraft”.
Alcan Global ATI also has a proven track record in space programmes, through its partnerships with ESA and NASA and their subcontractors. The Space Shuttle and Ariane 5 both have Alcan materials on board, and future manned flights and launcher programs such as Constellation and Vega will as well.
The Alcan Global ATI stand featured numerous examples of how its innovation capabilities are applied to the aerospace and space industry, from advanced alloy development to local tailoring of properties for monolithic aluminium parts to innovative assembly technologies. Alcan Global ATI exhibits included:
A single, monolithic casting of a passenger door frame, replacing a sub-assembly made of 93 separate components and 1,600 rivets for the Dassault Falcon 900/2000/7X series.
An innovative concept to join carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) and aluminium-lithium alloy for use into hybrid aerospace structures.
A pre-machined Airbus A330 landing gear element produced using 77 per cent of recycled aluminium scraps recovered from production.
Stretch-formed, heat treated, stretched and machined extrusions for fuselage frames for Airbus A380 and Embraer ERJ145 to illustrate downstream aluminium activity as well as the full potential of aluminium recycling.
Forward fuselage bulkhead machined from high-performance aluminium-lithium plate for all three variants of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme.
A test piece of Friction Stir Welding (FSW) joint in a hydrogen Turbopump for Ariane 5, delivering improved properties of the joint (static, fatigue damage tolerance and corrosion) and optimised production process.
A precision cast aluminium alloy impeller for the third cryogenic stage hydrogen Turbopump used on the Ariane 5 launcher.
Alcan Global ATI also showcased its aluminium recycling capabilities, which provide critical benefits to help the aerospace industry meet its economic and environmental challenges. The recycling of aluminium requires only 5 per cent of the energy needed to produce the primary metal. These distinctive properties place aluminium alloys ahead of any other materials used in manufacturing an aircraft.
The Alcan Global ATI closed-alloy-loop recycling process allows recycling 100 per cent of the aluminium produced during the manufacturing process, from mill scraps to customers' machining scraps, as well as aluminium and alloys found in commercial aircraft when they reach the end of their service lives. These capabilities further reinforce aluminium's position as the material of choice for aerospace customers by maximising its value and reducing their environmental footprint.
“Our commitment is to help the aerospace industry to meet their environmental challenges by offering them eco-friendly, energy-efficient and sustainable products. As we have developed unmatched end-to-end recycling capabilities, all our customers can fully benefit from the unique, infinitely recyclable properties of aluminium”, said Christophe Villemin.
Details are available from: Rio Tinto Alcan. Tel.: +33 1 57 00 24 18.