Lockheed Martin and Arconic have entered into an agreement to collaborate on the development of advanced materials and manufacturing processes, such as 3D printing. Additive manufacturing promises lighter, better-performing parts—produced at lower cost—such as the Arconic-designed, optimized aerospace bracket shown here. (Photo: Business Wire)

BETHESDA, Md. & NEW YORK—Lockheed Martin and Arconic have entered into a two-year Joint Development Agreement (JDA) to collaborate on the development of next-generation advanced materials and manufacturing processes. Together, the companies will develop customized lightweight material systems and advanced manufacturing processes, such as metal 3D printing, to advance current and next-generation aerospace and defense products—including new structures and systems not currently in existence.

The two companies currently collaborate on advanced materials and manufacturing projects, such as the development of process modeling, simulation tools, and lightweight, corrosion resistant alloys. Arconic also supplies Lockheed Martin with a broad portfolio of innovative, multi-material products for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft program—from engine to airframe structures—and 3D printed metal parts for service on 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,” said Rod Makoske, senior vice president of corporate engineering, technology, and operations for Lockheed Martin. “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.”

Arconic (www.arconic.com) provides a range of high performance multi-materials and products for aero engines and airframe platforms. The company’s products range from the world’s largest fuselage panels and wing skins, to 1/16-inch-diameter fasteners that hold an aircraft together. Arconic is a leader in additive manufacturing technologies for aerospace.

“We have a long history of innovative collaboration with Lockheed Martin across multiple platforms—from single-piece forged bulkheads for the F-35 to 3D printed parts for the Orion spacecraft—and we are pleased to expand on that relationship with this new agreement,” said Ray Kilmer, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Arconic. “Lockheed is always innovating, and it is a privilege to apply our materials and manufacturing expertise to help them deliver their next generation of cutting-edge products.”

Lockheed Martin’s newly released 2017 Corporate Sustainability Report details how innovative manufacturing techniques – like industrial 3D printing – can allow for greater resource efficiency, less use of material, and potentially lower greenhouse gas emissions over the full life cycle of a part.

In 2017, Lockheed Martin made progress toward its goal of creating greater manufacturing efficiencies, including completing life-cycle assessments on three products, identifying total cost of ownership reductions of $574 million from decreased resource consumption and impacts on human health and the environment.

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