LONDON Alcoa Inc. has completed the expansion of its Kitts Green facility in the United Kingdom and expects its aluminum lithium business annual revenues to quadruple to $200 million within six years as a result, the company said June 18.
The Kitts Green expansion was the second phase of the three-part expansion program by the company to satisfy customer demand for advanced aerospace products and patented alloys, which allow airframers to build more fuel-efficient and lower-cost airplanes versus composite alternatives, Alcoa said.
Our new aluminum lithium alloys provide the best strength-to-weight performance in our aerospace alloy portfolio, combined with better stiffness, damage tolerance and corrosion resistance, the Pittsburgh-based company added.
The alloys are used in extrusions, forgings, sheet and plate applications across aircraft structures, including airplane wings and fuselage components.
The first part of the expansion program was a 30-percent increase in capacity at Alcoas technology center in Pennsylvania while the third part will be constructing a new $90-million facility near the companys plant in Lafayette, Ind., that will add 20,000 tonnes per year of aluminum lithium production.
The new facility will supply round and rectangular ingot for rolled, extruded and forged applications, in sizes compatible with the largest aluminum aerospace components in service today, Alcoa said.
The Lafayette expansion is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.