AIRWARE®: low density alloy for lighter aircraft
Constellium has recently launched AIRWARE®, a technology inspiring heightened interest among aerospace companies in using new aluminium solutions rather than composites for high-tech structures in the next generation of aircraft.
AIRWARE® represents a unique solution to the current challenges aircraft manufacturers are facing, allowing them to combine weight reduction with lower assembly and maintenance costs, and reduction of the overall environmental footprint.
The continuous reduction in weight has always been a crucial driver for aircraft manufacturers. Pressure on airlines companies to operate fuel-efficient flights has more than ever led airframers to seek high performance technologies and push the limits.
AIRWARE® features a much lower density, a higher stiffness and a better damage tolerance that, combined to advanced welding and redesign of aircraft aerostucture, can deliver up to 25% weight reduction.
AIRWARE® inherent electrical conductivity and lighting strikes resistance allow the design of lighter and leaner fuselage structures.
Thanks to this unique set of properties and qualities, AIRWARE® enhances performance in terms of fuel consumption, improved reach and/or payload.
Making and operating aircraft is complicated today, and building tomorrow’s high-performance aircraft is all the more challenging.
AIRWARE® simplifies design and manufacturing, and makes it easier to comply with new maintenance standards.
It builds on the reputed high level of predictability and track record of aluminium technologies, and therefore simplifies aircraft design, manufacturing and maintenance planning.
Benefiting from the excellent reparability of aluminium, AIRWARE® enables easier handling of maintenance for in-service aircraft.
AIRWARE®’s higher corrosion and fatigue resistance increases durability of aerostructures and guarantees longer heavy maintenance intervals.
Environmental concerns increasingly prompt aircraft manufacturers and airliners to make more sustainable decisions. Carbon emissions reduction and fuel efficiency are now fully integrated into the aircraft’s life cycle assessment. We believe that AIRWARE® is the greenest option on the market today.
AIRWARE® is 100% recyclable. Leveraging aluminium’s infinite recyclability without property loss increases the value of the metal, therefore making it a material of choice for the aerospace industry. Important energy savings are generated due to the fact that recycling uses only 5% of the energy necessary to produce the primary metal.
AIRWARE®’s recycling process, which stems from Constellium’s know-how and industrial capabilities, is patented. Its qualities – lightness and recyclability – help airframers and airline companies in their effort to reduce their overall environmental impact.
AIRWARE® on board
AIRWARE® products have already been selected by Airbus for its next-generation wide-body twinjet, the A350-XWB, and by Bombardier for its single-aisle twinjet CSeries short-haul planes.
“Bombardier carefullly studied the advantages of Constellium's AIRWARE® and weigh evaluated it against other materials for the CSeries aircraft fuselage. Our decision to select AIRWARE® really came down to its advanced properties, strength-to-weight ratio and corrosion resistance combined with its capacity for easy inspection and repair. The selection of Constellium’s AIRWARE®for the CSeries aircraft will provide a significant operational advantage for airlines”, Robert Dewar, Vice President CSeries, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
In response to customer demand, €52Mn is being invested at Constellium’s production site at Issoire (France) and the Voreppe (France) research and development center. The Issoire site is equipped with the world’s first industrial-scale casting unit to produce the advanced AIRWARE® technology, while a second foundry at Voreppe concentrates on developing new applications.
AIRWARE® enables aircraft designers and manufacturers to meet demands for a new generation of lighter, more efficient and greener aircraft.