IBC Engineered Materials, an investment caster, reported it would begin delivering finished beryllium-aluminum parts to an unnamed “precision manufacturer” in Asia in Q1 2016, fulfilling two contracts it estimated at $1.2 million in total value. A source at parent company IBC Advanced Alloys confirmed the buyer is active in semiconductor manufacturing.
Most of the Wilmington, MA, foundry’s previously reported business is with aerospace manufacturing customers.
IBC Engineered Materials was developed in 2011 to manufacture investment cast parts in IBC’s proprietary beryllium-aluminum alloys, licensed as Beralcast®, a material noted for its light weight and exceptionally high stiffness. The foundry said the Asian customer selected IBC's castings to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its products, “where tight operating tolerances and vibration dampening characteristics are critical performance measures.”
Beralcast alloys reportedly are more than three times stiffer than aluminum with 22% less weight and a high modulus of elasticity. It is used to produce complex, lightweight, or high-stiffness parts and frequently serves as a higher-performance or lower-cost alternative to cast aluminum, magnesium, titanium, metal matrix composites, non-metallic composites, and pure beryllium or powder metallurgy beryllium-aluminum.
Previously cited examples of Beralcast applications include disk-drive armatures, automotive brake and structural components, advanced cycling rims, and aerospace and satellite system components.
In addition to the current order, IBC Advanced Alloys expressed confidence it would book additional business from the Asian semiconductor producer.
"IBC's business development initiatives focus on expanding our high-performance castings product line while improving margins and operating efficiencies,” stated Engineered Materials president Chris Huskamp. “We have identified a wide range of new opportunities and are engaged with several groups.
“While IBC is currently focusing on the aerospace sector for its Beralcast® alloys," he continued, "high-performance manufacturing is a growing opportunity for IBC. Robotics, precision manufacturing and automated assembly rely on highly sophisticated materials and IBC sees many opportunities for Beralcast® where precision, light weight and high modulus are essential operating requirements."