Lightweight metals leader Alcoa signed an approximately $1-billion contract with Airbus for high-tech, multi-material aerospace fastening systems—primarily titanium, steel and nickel-based superalloy systems. The deal is Alcoa’s largest fastener contract ever with the aircraft manufacturer. Alcoa’s fasteners fly on every Airbus platform.
Alcoa’s fasteners will be used to assemble some of Airbus’s latest high-growth airplanes, including the A350 XWB, Airbus’ newest commercial airplane, and the A320neo. In addition, Airbus will use Alcoa’s fastening systems for longer-running platforms including the A330.
As part of this agreement, Alcoa will supply advanced fastening systems, such as those that enhance the assembly of aircraft panels and engine pylons on newer airplanes with sophisticated design features.
Alcoa’s fasteners are made using a variety of materials including stainless steel, titanium and nickel-based superalloys, which improve fatigue life, enable lightning strike protection, and improve wear and reusability on conventional and composite aircraft. Alcoa will produce these fastening systems at 14 of its global manufacturing facilities.
Alcoa has been growing its multi-material aerospace business to capture growth in the global aerospace market in support of its broader transformation, and has become a leader in jet engine components and aircraft structures. Alcoa acquired global titanium leader RTI International Metals, aerospace components manufacturer TITAL and global jet engine parts leader Firth Rixson. Alcoa also has grown organically.
Alcoa opened the world’s largest aluminum-lithium facility in Lafayette, Indiana; launched expansions to increase jet engine parts production in La Porte, Indiana and Hampton, Virginia; began installation of advanced aerospace plate manufacturing capabilities in Davenport, Iowa; announced plans to double its coatings capabilities for jet engine components in Whitehall, Michigan; and announced an investment in technology that strengthens the metallic structures of traditional and additive manufactured parts, also in Whitehall, Michigan.