Alcoa officially opened the world’s largest aluminum-lithium plant in Lafayette, Ind., where it will produce advanced, third-generation aluminum-lithium alloys for the aerospace industry. The Lafayette cast house can produce more than 44 million pounds of aluminum-lithium annually. Alcoa’s materials scientists invented a majority of the alloys produced at the facility as well as the casting equipment and processing technology. The company offers a complete portfolio of aluminum-lithium products, including extruded, forged and rolled parts.
In other news, Alcoa recently produced the world’s largest single-piece forged aluminum hull for combat vehicles to improve troop protection as part of a joint initiative with the U.S. Army launched in 2013. Alcoa manufactured the single-piece part, which was co-designed by Alcoa and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, with the goal of replacing today’s assembled hulls. Single-piece designs could provide two times better protection against blasts than traditional hulls by eliminating welded seams. They can also be used to reduce vehicle weight and assembly time.