The alloys, introduced last year and now patented, allow airframers to build lighter and lower-cost airplanes versus composite alternatives.
The largest of the capacity expansions is a $90M greenfield facility to be built adjacent to Alcoa’s Lafayette, Indiana, USA plant.
When completed the facility will produce more than 20kt/y of aluminium lithium and be capable of casting round and rectangular ingot for rolled, extruded and forged applications.
The facility will be 115,000 square feet and create 75 permanent jobs, as well as 150 additional jobs during construction. The site will produce its first lithium by the end of 2014.
Alcoa is also expanding production at two other locations as a result of customer demand. Its Technology Center in Alcoa Center, PA near Upper Burrell, PA is expanding aluminium lithium capacity by 30% while its Kitts Green, UK plant will be upgraded to create additional casting capacity.
Its new alloys are used in extrusions, forgings, sheet and plate applications across aircraft structures, including aircraft wings and fuselage elements.