Alcoa signs agreement with Airbus for titanium, aluminum parts

Under the $110 million multi-year agreement, Alcoa will supply titanium and aluminum parts, including forgings used to connect the wing structure to the engine, for the A320neo.

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Alcoa (Cleveland, Ohio, USA) reported on Dec. 16 that it has signed a multi­year supply agreement with Airbus (Toulouse, France) valued at approximately $110 million for value-add titanium and aluminum aerospace forgings. Alcoa will produce the parts using its recently modernized 50,000­-ton press in Cleveland. This press uses state­-of-­the-­art controls to meet stringent aerospace specifications and is said to be capable of producing the world’s largest and most complex titanium, nickel, steel and aluminum forgings.

Alcoa will supply titanium parts, including forgings used to connect the wing structure to the engine, for the A320neo. The agreement also includes several large aluminum forgings for the A330 and A380—including the A380 inner rear wing spar, which is the largest aerospace forging in the world— that will be made using Alcoa’s proprietary 7085 alloy, intended specifically for large structural aircraft components. Most of these forgings support the wing structure where strength­-to- weight ratio is critical to efficient flight performance.

“Our expertise innovating highly engineered products, long history in aerospace and the unmatched capabilities of our 50,000­-ton press make Alcoa uniquely qualified to produce high­end solutions for the most advanced aircraft,” says Olivier Jarrault, executive vice president and Alcoa Group president, Engineered Products and Solutions. “This agreement deepens our long and collaborative relationship with Airbus with whom we will continue working to advance the industry with superior products.”

In 2012, Alcoa signed multi­-year supply agreements with Airbus for Alcoa’s leading aerospace aluminum sheet, plate and hard alloy extruded products using Alcoa’s current, advanced-­generation and aluminum lithium alloys. Terms were not disclosed, but the agreements were valued at approximately $1.4 billion. In addition to sheet, plate, forgings and extrusions, Alcoa specialty fasteners and structural castings are also used on Airbus aircraft.