Alcoa completed the expansion of aluminum-lithium capacity at its Kitts Green facility in the U.K. to serve the growing demand for the company’s third-generation aluminum-lithium alloys. Alcoa projects its aluminum-lithium revenues will quadruple over the next six years to nearly $200 million. The Kitts Green expansion is the second phase of a three-part program for its advanced aerospace products and patented alloys, which allow airframers to build more fuel-efficient and lower-cost airplanes versus composite alternatives. Alcoa also upgraded and expanded casting capacity at the Kitts Green plant and expanded capacity at its Technology Center in Alcoa Center, Pa., by 30%.
The third phase of the expansion is a new $90 million facility under construction adjacent to the company’s Lafayette, Ind., plant that will provide an additional 20,000 metric tons of aluminum lithium. The facility will supply round and rectangular ingot for rolled, extruded and forged applications in sizes compatible with the largest aluminum aerospace components in service today. The Lafayette expansion is scheduled to be completed and online by the end of 2014. Alcoa’s aluminum-lithium alloys are used in extrusions, forgings, and sheet and plate applications across aircraft structures, including airplane wings and fuselage components.