NEW YORK & DAVENPORT, IA — Arconic, which was spun off from Alcoa at the beginning of the month, has signed a multi-year contract with Airbus valued at $1 billion. The contract gives Arconic aluminum sheet and plate an unprecedented position on Airbus’ highest volume programs.
Airbus is a French-based manufacturer of aircraft for airlines around the world.
“This large contract is a further important step to expand our leadership position in the aerospace industry,” said Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and CEO of Arconic. “We are proud that Airbus has chosen us to support their fastest growing, technologically advanced programs. Partnerships like this with industry leaders are core to our strategy and this contract is another proof point of the potential that lies in it. We continue to focus on developing products and technologies that take all of our aerospace customers to new heights.”
This agreement is the first to include material from Arconic’s new state-of-the-art thick plate stretcher in Davenport, IA. Arconic’s most significant share gain in the contract is in the A320 family of aircraft, which is Airbus’ highest growth jet program.
The multi-year agreement starts in January 2017 and makes Arconic sole supplier to Airbus for specific applications, including some wing, fuselage and structural components. In addition to Arconic’s proprietary alloys – chosen for their combination of strength, corrosion resistance, density savings and manufacturability – Airbus planes will feature Arconic plate products on every platform, used in key applications such as wing ribs, fuselage frames and other structural parts of the aircraft.
Arconic’s new “very thick plate stretcher” will come online in 2017 and enables Arconic to produce the largest high-strength monolithic wing ribs in the industry. Located at Arconic’s Davenport Works facility, the stretcher enhances the performance of thick aluminum and aluminum-lithium plate in wing ribs and fuselage frames material.
The stretching process reduces stress introduced into the plate as part of the manufacturing process, resulting in a part that is more easily machined and processed. For example, as composite wings get larger, one of the challenges is strength and stiffness, and the aluminum plate from this stretcher will enable Arconic to make wing ribs to address that issue.
The addition will also enable Arconic to serve the existing plate market while also providing airframe builders with the ability to make large wing ribs, fuselage frames and bulkheads using Arconic thick plate.