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Materion Beryllium & Composites
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Materion Delivers Investment Castings to Lockheed Martin for Optical Components
ELMORE, OHIO — Materion Beryllium & Composites, a Materion Corporation business, recently announced that it has delivered the first finished AlBeCast® aluminum-beryllium investment cast components to Lockheed Martin for the F-35 Lightning II Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) following first-article inspection (FAI) approval.
Lockheed Martin’s EOTS for the F-35 Lightning II is a high-performance, lightweight, multi-function system that provides precision air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting capability. As the first sensor to combine forward-looking infrared and infrared search and track functionality, EOTS enhances F-35 pilots’ situational awareness and allows aircrews to identify areas of interest, perform reconnaissance, and precisely deliver laser- and GPS-guided weapons. Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 170 EOTS for the F-35 Lightning II.
“We are proud to supply Lockheed Martin with parts and materials for these critical investment cast components, and we are pleased to support Lockheed Martin’s cost-reduction efforts on the F-35 EOTS program with the AlBeCast technology breakthroughs,” said W. Glenn Maxwell, president, Materion Performance Metals group, in a press release.
Maxwell said that deliveries would continue under the supply contract announced about a year ago and that Materion has received the contract for the next AlBeCast order. In addition, he said Materion has been awarded materials contracts for six other high-performance beryllium-containing parts in the Lockheed Martin EOTS.
Aluminum-beryllium materials and castings provide favorable cost/benefit advantages for technically demanding applications, such as EOTS that require a combination of ultra-light weight, high stiffness, mechanical stability, and thermal properties. The proprietary AlBeCast technology extends Materion’s aluminum-beryllium product offering beyond its powdered metallurgy-derived AlBeMet materials by offering rapid prototyping and solidification modeling to provide investment cast parts with short lead times at competitive pricing. Casting is a near net-shape process that requires less beryllium consumption than conventional processing. In addition, the time needed for fabricating finished parts is reduced. The combination of reduced material and fabrication costs can be substantial, according to company representatives.
AlBeCast investment casting alloys are 25 percent less dense than aluminum and four times the specific stiffness of aluminum, titanium, steel, and magnesium. They have higher dampening capacity than aluminum and a coefficient of thermal expansion almost 50 percent lower than aluminum. The AlBeCast process meets standard cast aluminum design guidelines and requires minimal design changes.
Materion Corporation supplies highly engineered advanced enabling materials to global markets. Products include precious and non-precious metals, inorganic chemicals and powders, specialty coatings, specialty engineered beryllium alloys, beryllium and beryllium composites, and engineered clad and plated metal systems.
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