|Aerospace Materials III
This update on materials technology for Aerospace highlights the mounting competition between composites and Al-Li alloys for the single-aisle commercial aircraft market where next generation designs are not yet in place. Alcoa, especially, and Alcan are making a concerted effort to capture this market with improved Al-Li alloys. Meanwhile composites technology is slowly progressing while there is increasing concern about maintenance and inspection of the new composite aircraft such as the B787 and A350. This prompted a GAO (U.S. Government Accountability Office) inquiry into the certification process in the fall of 2011. Meanwhile there are interesting composites manufacturing systems being qualified and developed, but qualification and introduction into the commercial aerospace industry is a slow process.