Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Why Aluminum-lithium For The A350?  
User currently offlineBoeingBus From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1597 posts, RR: 18
Posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 5809 times:

I have always been curious as to why Airbus chose to go with Aluminum-lithium for the body structure of the new and upcoming A350 and not GLARE or composites.

Found this quote:
http://www.e-composites.com/frontend/newspage.aspx?sno=1245

"Boeing told the company that aluminum still needed to lose some weight. Chicago-based Boeing announced plans to use more carbon fiber and other composite materials in place of aluminum on its new 250-seat 7E7 jetliner."

Question, why is this material that is rejected by Boeing but yet it is embraced by Airbus as being advanced? Not that everything Boeing decides is correct but... I wonder if Airbus is making a 5 billion gamble by not besting or at least meeting competitor in terms of weight savings.

I also question, the idea that Aluminum-lithium could be even considered advanced as Airbus advertises. After performing several searches on this Aluminum-lithium material I have come to the conclusion that this material is not so new nor is it advanced as it's currently being used on the 747-400 and the 777, which is a technology from the mid 80's developed in conjunction by Boeing and Alcoa. Indirectly, Boeing's research is helping Airbus with the A350.

hmm, things that make you think of how just how small this world is.


Airbus or Boeing - it's all good to me!
7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7960 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 5776 times:

Airbus considered using GLARE for the A350, but from what I know, GLARE is expensive to produce and it may not be economically wise to use it on comparatively small areas. That said, I have always had the impression that GLARE, which still contains aluminium, is merely sort of an interims solution until newer composite materials are developed.


I support the right to arm bears
User currently offlineTomcat From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 163 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5652 times:

Aluminum-lithium has a slightly lower density than the usual aluminum (+/- 5% lower) and has very good fatigue properties, a must in many aerospace structural applications. It's main problem is it's cost, either to buy it or in the production process later on. So you've to use it in applications where you can make the best use of it's properties to justify the cost of using it.

I've never really dealt so far with Al-Li but I guess if you intend to make a more intensive use of Al-Li you can re-organize your manufacturing processes in a way that your factory will have more acceptance of Al-Li (for instance: concentrate Al-Li on selected machining centers that implies a minimum volume of production and so on...), hence minimizing the production cost impact.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Azerbaijan, joined Oct 2003, 14060 posts, RR: 62
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5634 times:

I wonder what corrosion issues it will have in future.

Jan


User currently offlineBoeingBus From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1597 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5603 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 3):
I wonder what corrosion issues it will have in future.

This has been tested on the 744 and 777. Boeing/Alcoa has used/tested this material in the past 20 years or so. So it's almost a guarantee it will be successful product when it comes to durability and corrosion. AIrbus coming out with idea its Advanced material is pure marketing.

Again, I maybe asking a very difficult question or maybe its obvious.... Maybe, it's just for an interim solution - who knows. With all the data from Boeing, I would have imagine Airbus would have gone with composites. Money is always an issue for all.

Thanks... but I'm hoping for more tidbits of info on the impact of this new material and whether it will meet expectations., etc...

Of course, size of the A350 comes to play but I dont think it will be the only saviour for Airbus.



Airbus or Boeing - it's all good to me!
User currently offlineAtmx2000 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4576 posts, RR: 37
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5540 times:

Airbus market research has shown that a significant percentage of the passengers and crew on flights in Airbus aircraft suffer from manic episodes . Thus Airbus is introducing more lithium into the aircraft environment to treat this problem.  Wink

Seriously, I think AlLi is used because it allows A330 parts to be recast in a new lighter metal alloy, without significant reengineering and redesign of the aircraft structure like a composite fuselage might require.



ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
User currently offlineAreopagus From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1370 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5524 times:

By changing alloys, Airbus can reuse the design and manufacturing process without much change. Redoing in composites would involve a lot more redesign work and a different manufacturing process.

Why not use glare? Probably because the metal alloy can be laser- or friction-stir welded. I am a little puzzled, though, by the reports that they will use fsw on the 350, when they recently developed the art of laser welding for the 318 and are spreading its use to the other products.

How are glare panels attached -- by rivets, or adhesives?


User currently offlinePlaneDane From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5511 times:

Quoting BoeingBus (Thread starter):
I have always been curious as to why Airbus chose to go with Aluminum-lithium for the body structure of the new and upcoming A350 and not GLARE or composites.

My speculation is that the time and cost of developing comparable composite technologies to what Boeing, the Japanese and Italians have come up with is just too much for Airbus to consider at this point. Also, going to a composite fuselage and a more fully composite wing would obsolete many existing facilities and workers throughout Europe.

So, while the weight savings from alloy with Lithium in it is very small, it is better than nothing and better than trying GLARE again.

Remember, this is just my opinion.


Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Why No Mercy For The Disabled? posted Sun Jul 30 2006 23:19:52 by 747hogg
Why Did Airbus Make The A350 Wider? posted Sat Jul 15 2006 02:22:34 by 787KQ
Why No Winglets For The 737-600? posted Tue Jul 11 2006 11:35:41 by LY777
Is Bangkok Airways Going For The A350? posted Fri Dec 30 2005 16:40:57 by Beaucaire
Can QR Change The LoI For The A350 To The 787-10? posted Thu Dec 22 2005 20:03:04 by NYC777
Apparently SU Went For The A350 posted Sat Nov 5 2005 00:00:52 by Kevin
Royal Jordanian For The A350/787? posted Fri Oct 14 2005 18:01:11 by B742
Why Did NWA Choose RR For The 787? posted Wed Nov 1 2006 05:45:22 by Scouse
Why Is AA Cheaper Than BA For The Same Flights? posted Thu Jul 20 2006 22:55:14 by Highpeaklad
Could Airnz Look At The A350 For The Future? posted Wed Mar 1 2006 22:27:50 by Freedom904