Alvant debuts ‘Hybrid’ metal composites at Farnborough Airshow 2018

Lightweight metal composite technology revealed that is set to help aircraft manufacturers achieve a safe ‘step-change’ in weight, emissions and performance

Basingstoke – A British materials technology that responds to the aerospace industry’s challenges of reducing emissions and weight will be presented on Innovate UK’s stand (Innovation Zone in Hall 3, stand 3796) at the Farnborough International Airshow on July 18th.

The presence of Alvant, the leader in Aluminium Matrix Composites (AMCs), at Farnborough follows its selection by Safran Landing Systems to participate in the £28 m ‘Large Landing Gear of the Future’ initiative to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. The project will look at how AMCs can challenge traditional materials in the design and manufacture of landing gear assemblies. Alvant’s work on this project is funded by a £513,000 grant from Innovate UK.

AMCs are advanced composite materials in which the aluminium is reinforced with a secondary high-performance material, typically a long fibre, short fibre, or particles. Compared to unreinforced metals, AMCs have higher strength, greater stiffness, lower weight, superior wear resistance and lower coefficients of thermal and electrical conductivity. The opportunities it offers has led to Alvant also receiving orders to supply the ‘Breakthrough Aerospace Materials’ project with Rolls Royce.

“The aerospace industry faces the challenge of finding suitable materials that will reduce weight and improve efficiency whilst maintaining reliability and lowering whole-life ownership costs,” says technical director Gemma Christian. “AMCs offer an exciting potential to an industry that needs a step-change in performance to meet ever stringent market and legislative demands. We believe AMCs can offer reductions in weight of approximately 25 per cent compared to titanium components of similar design.”

Visitors to the booth in the Innovation Area will have the opportunity to speak with Alvant’s technical specialists and discover other applications for the technology, including its use in lightweight electric motors.