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June 16, 2003
Alcoa Howmet Castings To Supply Two Components for A380; Mil-Handbook-5 Also Accepts New Casting Data for Spring 2004 Publication
PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 16, 2003--Alcoa Howmet Castings
has been picked by CESA to provide two components for the Airbus 380.
The parts are a hydraulic vessel and cover. "These are large, complex,
high-property aluminum castings," says Sylvain Poissant, general
manager of Howmet Laval. "Howmet was the only company able to handle
production of the newly designed hydraulic vessel as a single-piece
The spherically shaped hydraulic vessel is 800 millimeters
(approximately 28 inches) in diameter. The near-net-shape casting was
designed to fit into a contoured space in the wing. According to Peter
Budkewitsch, product-engineering manager, "The casting presented
difficult technical challenges, in that the part required both thin-
and thick-walled sections in the same piece. The new design called for
a high level of strength, while meeting weight targets. Our
high-strength, high-property aluminum investment casting process was
able to produce castings that met customer requirements."
Hydraulic vessels represent a new category of parts that have
opened up for conversion to the investment casting process, Poissant
says, adding: "The cost-effectiveness and technical excellence of the
aluminum investment casting process is appealing to OEMs. With the
growing acceptance of investment castings in structural applications,
these OEMs will now be able to take advantage of benefits the process
offers across a wide spectrum of structural parts."
Mil-Handbook-5 Accepts New Casting Data for Spring 2004
Alcoa Homet Castings also announced that an industry-wide
consortium, made up of representatives from government,
casting-supply-chain original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and their
suppliers, has established a static database for cast, HIP'ed and mill
annealed Ti-6Al-4V. According to Mario Longhi, president of Alcoa
Howmet Castings, "The acceptance of this data is a significant
milestone in the application of investment castings in structural
applications for commercial and military airframes. Now aerospace
engineers have access to data that make castings 'design allowable.'
This development removes a long-standing barrier to the conversion of
fabrications to single-piece investment castings."
The Mil-Handbook-5 committee, which meets twice yearly and whose
membership includes end-users in government, Boeing, Howmet and other
major casting suppliers, has worked for four years under the auspices
of the Engine Supplier Base Initiative (ESBI). Within the
continuous-improvement environment created by this initiative, the
group developed the room temperature tensile, compression, shear, and
bearing data that satisfy Mil-Handbook-5 requirements for static data.
The mechanical property database the committee developed also provides
a comparison with wrought product. In addition to its contribution to
the static data, Howmet has independently developed dynamic data for
strain-controlled low cycle fatigue, fatigue crack growth and fracture
toughness. The company expects this data to be included in a future
edition of Mil-Handbook-5.
Michael Pepper, vice president of Alcoa Howmet Casting's aero
market sector, says "The affordability and relatively fast
manufacturing of the investment casting process have long offered
attractions to OEMs. With the establishment of this database, these
OEMs will now be able to take advantage of these benefits across a
wide spectrum of structural parts that are prime candidates for
conversion to the casting process."
According to Stewart Veeck, senior development engineer, at the
Howmet Research Corporation, "Howmet used Mil-5 guidelines to generate
the dynamic data. The committee subsequently used both direct and
indirect statistical procedures to calculate the design-minimum
mechanical requirements for Mil-Handbook-5. Design engineers can use
the data with confidence."
Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum,
fabricated aluminum and alumina, and is active in all major aspects of
the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging,
building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial
markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other
capabilities of Alcoa's businesses as a single solution to customers.
In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets
consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) aluminum foil, Alcoa(R)
wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are
vinyl siding, closures, precision castings, and electrical
distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 127,000
employees in 40 countries. For more information go to www.alcoa.com