Arconic Inc. plans to install a new horizontal heat-treat furnace at its Davenport Works facility in Iowa. The furnace will enable the company to heat treat longer and thicker plate than ever before, including material for its recently installed Thick Plate Stretcher, which began commercial production this year and is the largest thick-plate stretcher in the world. Construction on the project, which required a $137 million investment, is expected to begin late this year with commercial production expected to start in 2019.

The need for thick aluminum plate is growing, particularly as demand for composite wings made with monolithic thick-plate wing ribs increases. According to Arconic, the furnace also opens the door to growth in markets such as semiconductors for consumer electronics and injection molding for automotive applications.