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Arconic Expanding Heat Treat Capacity to Capture Growth in Aerospace

Arconic Davenport
Davenport Works. (Photo: Arconic.)

Arconic Inc. plans to invest $137 million to install a new horizontal heat treat furnace at its Davenport Works facility in Iowa. Heat treatment is a required step in the production of certain high-strength products, and is essential for products intended for large aerospace and industrial applications.

This new furnace will enable Arconic to heat treat longer and thicker plate than ever before. This includes material for the company’s recently installed Thick Plate Stretcher, which began commercial production this year and is the largest thick plate stretcher in the world. Need for thick aluminum plate is growing, particularly as demand for composite wings, made with monolithic thick plate wing ribs, increases.

“This investment will help meet both existing and future customer demand,” said Tim Myers, president, Global Rolled Products and Transportation and Construction Solutions. “With this new capability, we will meet increasing demand for plate used for aircraft wing ribs, skins, and other structural components, particularly in single-aisle builds. It also opens the door to growth in other markets, such as semi-conductors for consumer electronics and injection molding for automotive applications.”

The investment is supported by economic development financial assistance from the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) and the City of Riverdale. Once the contract is finalized, the assistance will include tax, financing, and R&D credits, as well as training grants for the Davenport workforce and new employees.

The Davenport Works produces aluminum sheet and plate for aerospace and defense, automotive, commercial transportation, and other industrial product applications. The plant has over 2,500 employees with a local economic impact of more than $4 million per day.

Construction on the heat treat furnace project is expected to begin late this year with commercial production expected to start in 2019.

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