Arconic, is a company that specialises in lightweight metals engineering and manufacturing. The company has recently announced their participation in a multi-year cooperative research agreement with the aerospace manufacturer Airbus. The partnership will see both of the companies working to advance the metal 3D printing solutions that are available for aircraft manufacturing.
Both Arconic and Airbus will work to develop bespoke processes and parameters that will be able to produce and qualify large structural 3D printed components, such as pylon spars and rib structures. The components that the companies are hoping to produce could be around 1m in length.
The deal The deal that has been agreed will merge Arconic’s expertise in metal additive manufacturing and metallurgy with the design and qualification capabilities of Airbus as well as their experience with regulatory agencies in order to gain certification for the finished components. The agreement that has been formed combines the expertise of two of the world’s top aerospace additive manufacturers while also looking at ways to push the boundaries of 3D printing for the purposes of aircraft production. Additive manufacturing is already promising a world where lighter and more complex aerospace parts are produced cheaper and faster. The companies will be joining forces in order to make this potential a reality.
The agreement was first announced at the Formnext additive and advanced manufacturing conference that took place in Frankfurt, Germany. Arconic will be using electron beam high deposition rate technology to 3D print parts. The technology being developed is ideal for the production of larger aerospace components because it manages to print them up to one hundred times faster than any of the technologies that are used to create smaller and more intricate parts. On top of this Arconic will demonstrate the benefits of Ampliforge process, which is a combination of traditional and additive manufacturing.