ALCOA/Lockheed Martin Product Wins R&D 100 Award
PITTSBURGH, Penn. and FORT WORTH, Tex., August 14th, 1998 -- A new thick aluminum plate, developed through a joint effort by Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) and Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems, has been recognized as one of the 100 most technologically significant products of 1997 by R&D Magazine.
The new plate product, 2097-T861, is a medium-strength, high-damage tolerance product suitable for high performance parts of aircraft that are subjected to high loading conditions. Parts manufactured from the alloy are more reliable, can withstand more fatigue cracking damage, and last longer than parts made with other alloys, resulting in reduced maintenance costs.
The alloy implementation was a result of over eight years of testing at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth plant that culminated in a U.S. Air Force sponsored Producibility, Reliability, and Maintainability program. In this program, Lockheed Martin successfully demonstrated full-scale test articles and conducted flight evaluations in conjunction with Hill AFB and Wright Laboratories.
Aircraft joints and bulkheads manufactured from alloy 2097-T861 have exhibited up to five times longer life than parts made from the alloys conventionally used for these applications. The alloy also exhibits 32 percent higher fracture toughness, 25 percent higher guaranteed stress corrosion cracking resistance, and a 5 percent density advantage over competitive conventional aluminum plate products.
Developed to meet the needs of the U.S. Air Force, 2097 thick plate is currently being used to upgrade F-16 fighter aircraft aft fuselage bulkheads, as well as some fuselage longerons and stiffeners. These upgrades could reduce the U.S. Air Force Operations and Support costs by as much as $150 million dollars over the life of the F-16 program. Potential future applications include the manufacture of primary structure in commercial transport aircraft and next generation military aircraft programs such as the Joint Strike Fighter.
The prestigious R&D 100 Award has been given over the last 36 years to recognize excellence in new products and processes. As the recipient of an R&D 100 Award, this alloy joins the ranks of significant innovations which include the automated teller machine (ATM), the FAX machine, and aluminum alloy 7055-T77. Awards will be presented on September 24 at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.
Founded in 1888, Alcoa is the world's leading producer of aluminum and alumina and a major participant in all segments of the industry: mining, refining, smelting, fabricating and recycling. The company has 250 locations in 30 countries.
Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth plant produces the F-16 for the U.S. Air Force and a number of foreign countries and is leading Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter team. It also produces the mid-fuselage for the F-22 aircraft and is participating in production of Japan’s F-2 fighter.
Lori L. GallagherAlcoa Technical Center(724) 337-2725