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Triton, SMI team to make fiber-reinforced aluminum

Keywords: Tags  fiber-reinforced aluminum, FRA, Triton Systems Inc., Specialty Materials Inc., collaboration, composites, Ross Haghighat, Monte Treasure defense market

CHICAGO — Triton Systems Inc. and Specialty Materials Inc. (SMI) are teaming in a collaboration keyed to manufacture fiber-reinforced aluminum (FRA).

The material is a lightweight alternative to steel and aluminum for the defense, aerospace and transportation markets, the companies said in a release April 22.

Lowell, Mass.-based SMI has designed a "high-volume" FRA production facility that is expected to come online in late 2013, the companies said. Chelmsford, Mass.-based Triton will continue to develop next-generation FRA products at its pilot plant, they said.

The material was developed by Triton to make turbopump housings and helicopter gearbox components for the military, the companies said. Other applications include internal combustion engine components, high-temperature heat exchangers and bearing liners.

"Triton has an established relationship with SMI, and they are a trusted source in the industry for composite materials," Triton president and chief executive officer Ross Haghighat said. "FRA offers lightweight, high-strength alternatives that the industry demands and SMI can deliver qualified production to meet those requirements."

"FRA is a complementary material to our suite of products, and we’re geared up to take this product to volume manufacturing," SMI president and chief executive officer Monte Treasure said.

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