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Materion announces initial delivery of AlBeCast investment castings for F-35 Lightning II airborne optical components

Materion Beryllium & Composites, a Materion Corporation business, announced today that it has delivered the first finished AlBeCast aluminum-beryllium investment cast components to Lockheed Martin for the F-35 Lightning II Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) following first-article inspection (FAI) approval. Lockheed Martin’s EOTS for the F-35 Lightning II is a high-performance, lightweight, multi-function system that provides precision air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting capability. As the first sensor to combine forward-looking infrared and infrared search and track functionality, EOTS enhances F-35 pilots’ situational awareness and allows aircrews to identify areas of interest, perform reconnaissance and precisely deliver laser- and GPS-guided weapons. Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 170 EOTS for the F-35 Lightning II. “We are proud to supply Lockheed Martin with parts and materials for these critical investment cast components, and we are pleased to support Lockheed Martin’s cost-reduction efforts on the F-35 EOTS program with the AlBeCast technology breakthroughs,” said W. Glenn Maxwell, President, Materion Performance Metals group. He said that deliveries would continue under the supply contract announced one year ago and that Materion has received the contract for the next AlBeCast order. In addition, he said Materion has been awarded materials contracts for six other high-performance beryllium-containing parts in the Lockheed Martin EOTS. Aluminum-beryllium materials and castings provide favorable cost/benefit advantages for technically demanding applications such as EOTS that require a combination of ultra-light weight, high stiffness, mechanical stability and thermal properties. The proprietary AlBeCast technology extends Materion’s aluminum-beryllium product offering beyond its powdered metallurgy-derived AlBeMet materials by offering rapid prototyping and solidification modeling to provide investment cast parts with short lead times at competitive pricing. Casting is a near net-shape process that requires less beryllium consumption than conventional processing. In addition, the time needed for fabricating finished parts is reduced. The combination of reduced material and fabrication costs can be substantial. AlBeCast investment casting alloys are 25% less dense than aluminum and four times the specific stiffness of aluminum, titanium, steel, and magnesium. They have higher dampening capacity than aluminum and a coefficient of thermal expansion almost 50% lower than aluminum. The AlBeCast process meets standard cast aluminum design guidelines and requires minimal design changes.

Press release issued by Materion Beryllium & Composites on August 18, 2015

 

 Contact details from our directory:
Materion Beryllium & Composites Metal Matrix Composite Structures, Metal & Alloy Castings, Beryllium, Metal Matrix Composites
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Airframer

 

 Related aircraft programs:
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

 

 Related directory sectors:
Structural Components
Metals

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