Arconic AM aerospace bracket Arconic
An aerostructure bracket with an optimized design by Arconic, made possible by producing the part using additive manufacturing.

Lockheed, Arconic Developing 3DP Materials, Processes

Two-year agreement to customize materials and methods for aerospace and defense structures and systems.

Recently Lockheed Martin and Arconic announced a two-year agreement to develop customized lightweight material systems and advanced manufacturing processes, including metal 3D printing, to advance current and next-generation aerospace and defense technologies, structures, and systems.

Specific terms of the new joint-development agreement were not announced.

Lockheed’s recently released 2017 Corporate Sustainability Report cites industrial 3D printing as one “innovative technology” that may improve resource efficiency, reduce materials consumption, and potentially lower greenhouse gas emissions over the service life of a component.

“Collaborating with Arconic will help us uncover new ideas for materials development where traditional practices aren’t suitable, investigate more sustainable material compositions and find ways to produce materials more effectively,” according to Lockheed’s SVP Rod Makoske.

Lockheed and Arconic have collaborated in the past and currently have joint development programs involving process modeling, simulation tools, and lightweight, corrosion-resistant alloys. Also, Arconic supplies materials for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft program, and 3D-printed metal parts for the NASA’s Orion spacecraft.

“At Lockheed Martin, we are relentlessly finding ways to develop materials that create state-of-the-art advanced capabilities, reduce waste, and generate efficiencies in manufacturing practices,” Makoske said.

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