Arconic announced a multi-year cooperative research agreement with Airbus to advance metal 3D printing for aircraft manufacturing. The companies will develop customized processes and parameters to produce and qualify large, structural 3D-printed components, such as pylon spars and rib structures, up to approximately 3 feet in length. The deal combines Arconic’s expertise in metal additive manufacturing and metallurgy with Airbus’ design and qualification capabilities.

Under this agreement, Arconic will use electron-beam high-deposition-rate technology to 3D print parts. This technology is ideally suited to produce larger aerospace components because it prints them up to 100 times faster than technologies used for smaller, more intricate parts. In addition, Arconic will demonstrate the benefits of its proprietary Ampliforge process. Ampliforge treats a near-complete 3D-printed part using an advanced manufacturing process such as forging, which enhances the properties of 3D-printed parts and reduces material input and production lead times.

Arconic will draw on additive and advanced manufacturing capabilities at its facilities in Cleveland, Ohio, and at the Arconic Technology Center outside Pittsburgh, Pa.