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Lockheed Martin and Arconic announce collaboration on advanced aerospace materials

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As part of an initiative to develop next-generation advanced materials and manufacturing processes, Lockheed Martin and Arconic, recently announced a two-year Joint Development Agreement (JDA). Together, the companies will develop customised lightweight material systems and advanced manufacturing processes, such as metal 3D printing, to advance current and next-generation aerospace and defence solutions.

At Lockheed Martin, we are relentlessly finding ways to develop materials that create state-of-the-art advanced capabilities, reduce waste and generate efficiencies in manufacturing practices,’ said Rod Makoske, Lockheed Martin SVP of Corporate Engineering, Technology and Operations. ‘Collaborating with Arconic will help us uncover new ideas for materials development where traditional practices aren’t suitable, investigate more sustainable material compositions and find ways to produce materials more effectively.’

We have a long history of innovative collaboration with Lockheed Martin across multiple platforms—from single-piece forged bulkheads for the F-35 to 3D printed parts for the Orion spacecraft—and we are pleased to expand on that relationship with this new agreement,’ said Ray Kilmer, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Arconic. ‘Lockheed is always innovating, and it is a privilege to apply our materials and manufacturing expertise to help them deliver their next generation of cutting-edge products.’

Arconic provides a range of high-performance multi-materials and products for virtually every aero engine and airframe platform. The company’s solutions range from the world’s largest fuselage panels and wing skins, to 1/16-inch-diameter fasteners that hold an aircraft together. Arconic aims to be a leader in additive manufacturing technologies for aerospace.

Lockheed Martin’s newly released 2017 Corporate Sustainability Report details how innovative manufacturing techniques – like industrial 3D printing – can allow for greater resource efficiency, less materials used and potentially lower greenhouse gas emissions over the full life cycle of a part.

In 2017, Lockheed Martin made progress toward its goal of creating greater manufacturing efficiencies, including completing life-cycle assessments on three products, identifying total cost of ownership reductions of $574 million from decreased resource consumption and impacts on human health and the environment.

This agreement expands the longstanding relationship between Arconic and Lockheed Martin. The companies currently collaborate on advanced materials and manufacturing projects such as the development of process modelling, simulation tools and lightweight, corrosion resistant alloys. Arconic also supplies Lockheed Martin with a portfolio of multi-material products for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft program—from engine to airframe structures—as well as 3D printed metal parts for service on NASA’s Orion spacecraft.