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Constellium cuts ribbon at low-density aluminum alloys casthouse

Keywords: Tags  Constellium, aluminum alloys, casthouse, Airware, Christophe Villemin, Airbus, Eric Zanin, Bombardier SpaceX

CHICAGO — Constellium has officially opened its €52-million ($66.4-million) low-density alloys casthouse in Issoire, France. The downstream aluminum producer said the new facility will produce the company’s Airware-brand alloys on an industrial scale.

"We believe Airware is a true game-changer that contributes to delivering a more-efficient, cost-effective and greener industry," Christophe Villemin, president of Constellium’s global aerospace activities, said in a statement.

The Issoire casthouse should also strengthen Constellium’s integrated manufacturing system, which links aerospace plants in Issoire, Ravenswood, W.Va., and Sierre, Switzerland, the Paris-based company said.

Airbus SAS, Boulogne-Billancourt, France, Space Exploration Technologies Corp., Hawthorne, Calif., and Bombardier Inc., Montreal, are among the companies that have used Airware, Constellium said.

"This (Issoire) casthouse showcases Constellium’s ability to support our ambitions," Eric Zanin, Airbus senior vice president and chief supply chain officer for procurement, said in a statement.

Constellium, formerly Alcan Engineered Products, is owned 51 percent by affiliates of Apollo Global Management LLC, New York; 39 percent by former parent company Rio Tinto Plc, London; and 10 percent by Fonds Stratégique d’Investissement SA, Paris.

In 2010, then-parent Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. announced plans to invest €42.5 million ($54.8 million) in its Issoire rolling mill and Voreppe research center in order to expand production of lightweight aluminum-lithium alloys for the aerospace sector and to develop new applications for its Airware alloys (, July 20, 2010).

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