Close sidebar

Alcan launches AirWare

written by | July 21, 2010
Could AirWare find its way onto future airliners? (NASA)

Rio Tinto subsidiary Alcan has released a new lightweight aluminium alloy which could compete against advanced composites, particularly on new generation narrowbody aircraft.

Called AirWare, the new line of alloys is up to 30 per cent lighter than current alloys thanks to its lower density and strength, which means that less material needs to be used. As such, it could become a cost-effective competitor to carbon composite materials for some aircraft, with Bombardier and Airbus reportedly in talks to use the new alloy for some parts of its planned future aircraft.

While composites have gained in popularity for use on large aircraft such as the Boeing 787 due to their reduced weight compared to metals, concerns about the potential for ground damage and the poor scalability are leading the major manufacturers to consider new alloys for the primary structures of new generation narrowbody aircraft. AirWare also offers an advantage in recycling, with metals still much easier to recycle than composites.


Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at

Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year