Alcoa Inc. the US aluminium giant, has signed a new multi-year deal with Airbus for $1.4 billion, for supplying products related to virtually all the passenger jet maker’s commercial airlines, including the A350.
The agreement which was signed on Wednesday, will see Alcoa Supplying aluminium sheets, plates and hard alloy extruded products which have been made from its advanced and current-generation aluminium-lithium alloys. These products will be including new lower wing skins on the A320 and several aluminium lithium applications on the A380 and A350, inclusive of the largest extruded lower-wing stringers for the A380a and the largest fuselage parts and wing skins for the A380 along with structural plate for the A350.
Alcoa has stepped up the offerings for aluminium-lithium, with an intensified competition from the carbon fiber reinforced plastic sector.
According to the group president of Alcoa engineered products, Olivier Jarrault, after Boeing Co announced that it was going to use plastic for its 787 Dremliner plane, they ramped up the production of aluminium lithium and the efforts have been really intensified over the last 3-4 years.
Alcoa has been making a steady progress and it has expanded the Kitts Green and Piitsburgh plants and has invested almost $90 million in the state-of-art facility in Lafayette for production of more than 20,000 metric tons of aluminium lithium from the year 2014.
According to Jarrault, the composites are not threats but more of a motivation to the firm and it will be pushing them for the development of aluminium solutions , through break-through technologies and will be surpassing what the composites are offering right now.