Alcoa will supply titanium and aluminum forgings to Airbus for its A320neo narrow-body jet, and other aircraft.

Alcoa, Airbus in LTA for Aluminum, Titanium Parts

Dec. 17, 2013
Expands agreement with Airbus 50,000-ton press Wing joint structures, inner rear wing spars
Alcoa’s 50,000-ton press at the Cleveland Works was rebuilt at a cost of more than $100 million, and restarted in 2012.

Alcoa reported it has reached a new multi-year agreement with Airbus SAS to supply titanium and aluminum forgings for aerospace products. Without indicating the length of the agreement, Alcoa stated it would be worth approximately $110 million. Airbus has not commented on the agreement.

In 2012, Alcoa and Airbus agreed to long-term supply agreements for aluminum sheet, plate, and hard-alloy extrusions. Alcoa also supplies specialty fasteners and structural castings to Airbus.

“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 high-end solutions for the most advanced aircraft,” stated 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.”

The 50,000-ton press at Alcoa’s Cleveland Works was rebuilt over three years and at an estimated cost of $100 million, restarting early last year. Alcoa noted the press’s advanced process controls help it to match the aerospace high standards for dimensional and quality control in titanium, nickel, steel, and aluminum forgings.

The company said the agreement calls for it to supply titanium forgings and other parts used to connect the wing structure to the engine for the A320neo, the new narrow-body jet that Airbus will introduce in 2015. It will be assembled at the new plant Airbus is building in Mobile, AL. 

The supply agreement also includes several large aluminum forgings for the A330 and A380—including the A380 inner rear wing spar, the largest aerospace forging in the world. That part will be forged from Alcoa’s proprietary 7085 alloy.

The new agreement with Airbus parallels another long-term agreement that Alcoa reached with Russian titanium producer VSMPO-Avisma, to produce aluminum and titanium forgings in Russia for the aerospace market.

Also, the agreement appears similar to one that Airbus rival Boeing recently arranged with Allegheny Technologies Inc. for long-term supply of aerospace titanium products.