Why Alcoa’s advanced aluminum solutions?


Alcoa has developed a new set of aluminum-based solutions for the aerospace market that allow manufacturers to build dramatically lighter and lower-cost jetliners at significantly lower production risk than composite-intensive aircraft, while providing airlines with the full range of advantages from improved performance, efficiency, passenger comfort and maintenance.


These breakthrough technologies are available – or are in advanced development – for use on next-generation jetliners, particularly the short- and medium-range aircraft envisioned as eventual successors to today’s 737s and A320s.


The solutions – which include new alloys and advanced structural technologies – use Alcoa sheet, plate, forgings and hard alloy extrusion products for applications across the spectrum of aircraft structures, including wings and fuselage elements. 


Alcoa’s technologies offer up to 10 percent in weight savings over composite-intensive aircraft, along with a 12 percent increase in fuel efficiency (on top of the 15 percent provided from new engines); while also lowering the costs of manufacturing, operating and maintaining them by up to 30 percent. 


In addition, its matured and validated solutions reduce new program development risk for airframe manufacturers – a factor that is increasingly vital in today’s fast-paced, highly-competitive, and production rate-intensive global aircraft industry.


Alcoa is uniquely positioned to define, develop, validate and deliver these promising solutions.  The company brings a commitment to technology innovation that goes well beyond commercializing “new materials” – with an unmatched understanding of how designs, materials and structures work in concert to provide optimal solutions that help our customers meet the mission of next-generation aircraft. 


As a result, Alcoa’s content literally runs from an aircraft’s nose to tail and wingtip to wingtip, including fuselage skins and stringers; floor beams and seat tracks in the cabin; wing skin plate, forgings, spars and ribs for the wings; engine pylon support structures, along with the millions of fasteners used for a jetliner’s assembly.


Alcoa Aerospace products have been part of every major evolution in aircraft since the dawn of manned flight.  Alcoa Aerospace is comprised of four businesses with operations across the world that generate approximately $3 billion in total revenues and no. 1 share positions in their chosen markets: Alcoa Global Rolled Products; Alcoa Forgings and Extrusions; Alcoa Fastening Systems; and Alcoa Power and Propulsion.