Boeing (www.boeing.com) and Alcoa (www.alcoa.com) have formed a closed-loop program that the two companies say will significantly increase the recycling of internal aluminum aerospace alloys used during the production of Boeing airplanes. The announcement was made at the 2013 Paris Air Show.
The closed loop recycling program will entail the intermodal transport of aluminum alloy scrap material, including advanced alloys, from Boeing facilities in Auburn, Wash., and Wichita, Kan., to Alcoa’s Lafayette, Ind. facility for melting and recycling into new aerospace materials.
According to an Alcoa news release, the program calls for the recycling of 2XXX and 7XXX-series aluminum alloys used to produce Boeing’s wing and fuselage components. The forms will include aluminum extrusions, sheet and plate products. At the outset, about 8 million pounds of aluminum is expected to be recycled per year.
Alcoa says the recycling program also creates a blueprint that could be expanded to recover scrap from Boeing sub-contractors, and be expanded to include other aluminum scrap forms, including chips that remain after the machining of parts.
“This program will maximize the value of aluminum scrap materials throughout the supply chain while also reducing waste,” says Leslie Shuman, director of supply chain for Alcoa’s Aerospace, Transportation and Industrial Rolled Products. “It also allows us to work closely with Boeing to ensure the quality and integrity of the materials we bring into our system for recycling.”