LOS ANGELES Carpenter
Technology Corp.s proprietary Custom 465 stainless steel
is moving closer to use in aircraft landing gear.
The Wyomissing, Pa.-based
specialty metals producer said it is participating in a
European program to qualify Custom 465 for use in landing gear
applications that currently incorporate ultra-high-strength
steel. The alloy recently "passed a key development milestone"
that could lead to eventual production of prototypes for flight
testing in 2014, according to Carpenter.
Other participants in the
program include European aircraft builder Airbus SAS; landing
gear manufacturer Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, a subsidiary of
Frances Safran SA; and the Advanced Manufacturing
Research Center at Sheffield University in northern England.
The program is supported by Britains Technology Strategy
Carpenter said the use of
stainless steel in landing gear would eliminate the need for
cadmium plating as well as the "environmental issues associated
with the plating process," while overall production costs would
be reduced and landing gear service life would be extended.
Custom 465 has been used in
medical instruments, small turbine engine shafts and sporting
equipment, according to Carpenters website. In addition
to landing gear, it also has potential for fasteners, aircraft
actuators and upgrading the more widely used 13-8
Carpenter is already active in
the landing gear market. Last year, it signed a 10-year
agreement with Goodrich Corp. to supply its AerMet 100 steel
alloy for use in military aircraft landing gear components for
the U.S. Navys F/A-18 Hornet and the F-35 Joint Strike
Fighter. The alloy was developed as a replacement for the
popular 300M steel alloy.