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Bombardier chooses Alcan’s AIRWARE™ technology for its CSeries aircraft program in the framework of a long-term agreement
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Bombardier chooses Alcan’s AIRWARE™ technology for its CSeries aircraft program in the framework of a long-term agreement

20 July 2010

Alcan Global ATI and Bombardier, one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, have entered  into  a  long-term  agreement  for  the  exclusive  supply  of  AIRWARE™,  Alcan’s advanced aluminum-lithium alloy technology, to provide primary structure for the all-new CSeries aircraft. AIRWARE™  will comprise more than 20%  of all materials  used  in the CSeries aircraft. 

AIRWARE™  technology,  which  is  based  on  the  mastering  of  low  density  alloys,  has helped Bombardier develop a high-strength, light, metallic fuselage by combining sheets and  extrusions  to  manufacture  fuselage  skins,  stringers,  frames  and  floor  beams.  This contributes to significant improvements in aircraft operating costs, fuel consumption and emissions reduction. 

With  AIRWARE™,  we  pave  the  way  for  a  revolutionary  utilization  of  aluminum-based technologies  to  design  lighter,  greener  aircraft,  whilst  ensuring  the  highest  level  of reliability, which is a key requirement in the aerospace industry,” said Christophe Villemin, Alcan Global ATI President. “Thanks to collaborative research and development, initiated with   Bombardier   in   2007,   Alcan   has   been   chosen   as   an   exclusive   supplier   of AIRWARE™ for the CSeries aircraft program,” continued Villemin. 

Bombardier’s  single-aisle  CSeries  aircraft,  which  is  designed  for  the  100-  to  149-seat market segment, is expected to offer a 15* per cent cash operating cost advantage over current in-production aircraft. Advanced materials will contribute to the CSeries aircraft’s 20% fuel consumption advantage and reduced CO 2  emissions.  

AIRWARE™’s  low  density,  exceptional  mechanical  properties  and  inherent  electrical conductivity  allows  significant  weight  reductions  compared  to  competing  materials.  In addition,   AIRWARE™’s   unparalleled   corrosion   resistance,   strength   and   behaviour predictability will all contribute to easy maintenance of CSeries aircraft.    

In line  with Alcan and Bombardier’s commitment to sustainability,  AIRWARE™ material removed  during  machining  can  be  infinitely  recycled  into  new  aircraft  parts,  as  can  all AIRWARE™ components when an aircraft reaches the end of its commercial life. 

This long-term agreement demonstrates Alcan’s leadership and commitment to provide the   aerospace   industry   with   step-change   turnkey   solutions   to   reach   ever   more challenging economic and environmental objectives,” concluded Villemin.  

About Alcan Global ATI  

Alcan  Global  ATI  employs  approximately  3  500  people  and  has  manufacturing  plants  in Europe  and  North  America.  A  world  leader  in  the  production  of  aerospace  plates,  Alcan Global ATI provides its customers with its entire portfolio of advanced lightweight aluminium solutions.  Thanks  to  its  global  R&D,  manufacturing  and  commercial  reach,  Alcan  Global ATI  is  able  to  build  long-term  supply  and  innovative  technology  partnerships  with  major aerospace leaders. 

About Alcan Engineered Products 

Alcan  Engineered  Products  is  a  global  sector-leader  strongly  committed  to  developing innovative, value added aluminum products for a broad range of civil and defense markets and applications, including aerospace, mass transportation, automotive, packaging, energy and  building.  With  around  11  000  employees  located  in  27  countries  and  a  commercial presence  in  more  than  60  markets  across  Europe,  the  Middle  East,  Africa,  the  Americas and  the  Asia-Pacific  region,  Alcan  Engineered  Products  is  organized  around  businesses dedicated  to  performance  materials  in  the  areas  of  aluminum  rolled  products,  extrusions and  automotive  structures,  aluminum  cable  and  international  trade.  Alcan  Engineered Products is headquartered in Paris, France.  

About Rio Tinto  

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc,  a  London  and  NYSE  listed  company,  and  Rio  Tinto  Limited,  which  is  listed  on  the Australian Securities Exchange. 

Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium,  copper,  diamonds,  energy  (coal  and  uranium),  gold,  industrial  minerals  (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia  and North  America  with significant businesses in  South  America, Asia,  Europe and southern Africa. 

CSeries is a trademark of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries. 

* The CSeries aircraft is in the design phase. All data and specifications are estimates, subject to change in family strategy, branding, capacity, performance during the course of the design, manufacture and certification process. Performance has been estimated based on a 500-nm North American operating environment. 

For further information, please contact: 

Rio Tinto Alcan Media Relations, Europe 
Eglantine Leroi  
Tél. : +33 1 44 69 54 07 
eglantine.leroi@clai2.com 

Rio Tinto Alcan Media Relations, Canad
Bryan Tucker 
Tel: +1 514 848 8066 
bryan.tucker@riotinto.com 

Alcan Global ATI 
Laura Berneri 
Tel.: +33 1 57 00 21 34 
laura.berneri@alcan.com 

Website: 
www.riotintoalcan.com 

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