US companies partner to manufacture fibre-reinforced aluminium
23 April 2013
US companies, Triton Systems and Specialty Materials Inc (SMI) have partnered to manufacture the advanced material, FRA (fibre reinforced aluminum).
FRA materials (photo courtesy of Triton Systems and Specialy Materials Inc)
The material - a high strength aluminium alloy randomly reinforced with chopped ceramic (alumina-silicate) fibres - offers a lightweight alternative to steel and aluminium components in defence, transportation, and aerospace markets.
FRA’s combination of weight savings, superior wear resistance, and high temperature resistance offers a higher performance alternative to traditional steel and aluminium for products such as pump and actuator housings, bushings, wear inserts, internal combustion engine components, high temperature heat exchangers and bearing liners.
FRA was developed by Triton for use in military programmes for turbopump housings and helicopter gearbox components. Under the agreement, Triton will continue to develop FRA for next generation products at their pilot production plant.
Meanwhile, SMI has designed a high volume FRA production facility with the capacity for producing larger diameter pieces. This facility is expected to be online in late 2013 for delivery of production quantities of FRA.
For more information on FRA materials, click here.