20 June 2011

Constellium pushes its AIRWARE technology to the next level

Paris, 20 June 2011: A year after the successful launch of its latest technology, AIRWARETM, Constellium is about to inaugurate two new foundries to industrialize production and accelerate innovation for future aerospace programs. Major aircraft manufacturers have already chosen AIRWARETM for their new aircraft - AIRBUS for its A350-XWB and Bombardier for its CSeries. AIRWARETM has also been selected for major research programs on eco-efficiency 1.

In July 2010, Constellium revolutionized aluminium solutions for the aerospace industry with the launch of its AIRWARETM technology, a complete range of products designed for all parts of aircraft structures (fuselage, wings or tail fins). A year in, Constellium will showcase its latest technology and the potential of aluminum solutions for tomorrow's aircraft at the Paris Air Show.

AIRWARETM maximizes weight savings, optimizes costs by making it easier to manufacture parts and carry out maintenance, and at the same time reduces environmental impact. All this thanks to its unrivalled properties due to a complex structure developed from nanotechnology.

AIRWARETM and its 3 outstanding benefits:

  • 25% lighter: AIRWARETM's mechanical properties make it possible to optimize the design of structural parts, consequently making significant weight savings and therefore reducing CO2 emissions.
  • A 12-year heavy-maintenance cycle: AIRWARETM guarantees the durability of parts due to greater resistance to fatigue and corrosion.
  • 100% recyclable: Just like all aluminium solutions, AIRWARETM can be recycled endlessly without losing any of its properties by using a patented recycling process. This technology contributes to the development of a sustainable aerospace industry.

AIRWARETM is a benchmark technology for future aerospace programs and it is particularly suitable for the new single aisle aircraft. AIRWARETM is a breakthrough technology with well-controlled risks, due to its intrinsic performance and properties, and the value chain's capacity to meet high build rates for this type of aircraft. For airlines, leasing and MRO companies, AIRWARETM is a high performance technology that requires no further investment or structural changes to manage maintenance requirements (scheduled and non-scheduled). AIRWARETM is also a solution for reducing fuel consumption.

« With AIRWARETM, we are the first to launch and industrialize a cutting edge technology that meets the challenges of producing ever lighter aircraft, with lower environmental impact that meets the industry's economic management criteria. Current programs make it clear that AIRWARETM has a long way to go before reaching its full potential! There is still considerable room for improvement that Constellium is exploring through a major innovation program that will target future aircraft. We invite all our partners, both upstream and downstream, to join us in this venture » said Christophe Villemin, President of Constellium's Global Aerospace Division.

Different vessel parts are on display at Constellium’s booth at the Paris Air Show, highlighting AIRWARETM 's potential and the benefits this technology offers in terms of overcoming aircraft manufacturers’ current and future challenges :

  • Two fuselage parts built by Spirit AeroSystems, including a hydro-formed frame that highlights AIRWARETM products’ formability;
  • A fuselage panel from the Bombardier CSeries that offers better performance and higher resistance to corrosion;
  • A prototype of a monolithic fuselage frame manufactured by Constellium that confirms its excellent stability during machining.

AIRWARETM 's unique properties have already caught the attention of several aircraft manufacturers. Airbus will use AIRWARETM metal sheets and forged parts to manufacture the key structural elements of the wings of the new wide-bodied, twin-engined A350-XWB. Bombardier will use this innovative solution as fuselage skin, stringer, frame and floor plates on its commercial CSeries planes.

As the result of ten years of R&D at Constellium’s research center in Voreppe (Isère, France), AIRWARETM highlights its commitment to developing the higher performance technologies needed to carry out the increasingly demanding programs of aircraft manufacturers.

Production has already started at the Ravenswood (USA) and Issoire (France) sites to deliver first orders. Production will be increased with the inauguration during the last quarter of the year of the two new French foundries at Issoire and at Voreppe. The Issoire site will be equipped with the world's first industrial foundry for producing AIRWARETM .The Voreppe Research & Development Site foundry will focus on developing new applications. These unique industrial and technological capabilities will be the key of AIRWARETM's success on future aircraft programs.

Constellium at the Paris Air Show: Hall 2B – Booth B32

Download the press release

Press Release - Constellium - AIRWARE at the Paris Air Show 20.06.11

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