Lockheed Martin and Arconic announced a two-year joint development agreement (JDA) to develop customized lightweight material systems and advanced manufacturing processes, such as metal 3D printing, to advance current and next-generation aerospace and defense solutions – including new structures and systems not currently in existence. This JDA is part of an initiative to develop next-generation advanced materials and manufacturing processes.

The companies currently collaborate on advanced materials and manufacturing projects such as the development of process modeling; simulation tools; and lightweight, corrosion-resistant alloys. Arconic also supplies Lockheed Martin with single-piece forged bulkheads for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft program as well as 3D-printed metal parts for service on NASA’s Orion spacecraft.

Arconic provides a range of high-performance multi-materials and products for virtually every aero-engine and airframe platform. The company’s solutions range from the world’s largest fuselage panels and wing skins to 1/16-inch-diameter fasteners that hold an aircraft together. Lockheed Martin’s newly released 2017 Corporate Sustainability Report details how innovative manufacturing techniques – like industrial 3D printing – can allow for greater resource efficiency and less materials used over the full life cycle of a part.