IBC Advanced Alloys Corp. signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Nu-Cast Inc., an investment casting foundry in Londonderry, NH, concerning cooperation on new beryllium-aluminum investment casting projects for aerospace customers. IBC Advanced Alloys is the parent company of IBC Engineered Materials, an investment caster at Wilmington, MA, that casts beryllium-based alloys for military and civilian aerospace projects.
Nu-Cast produces aluminum investment castings according to a proprietary shell system it states produces near-net-shape components, involving wax patterns made from hard tooling (for production scale projects) or by Quick Cast SLA patterns (for R&D prototypes or short run projects.)
Nu-Cast’s specializes in large lightweight structures for electronic, optical, and aerospace projects. Its customers include NASA agencies and defense and military contractors, including Lockheed-Martin, General Dynamics, Honeywell, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and others.
Financial and operational details of the memorandum were not announced. IBC explained that the MOU defines the partners’ plan to cooperate to increase manufacturing capacity and improve “production efficiencies” for IBC's near-net-shape beryllium aluminum castings.
Evaluating, Developing, … Qualifying
The partners’ first objective will be to “evaluate and develop opportunities to expand IBC-EMC's proprietary Beralcast® alloys for aerospace applications.”
They also intend to initiate projects to increase IBC’s aerospace market share.
It noted that both companies seek growth in the aerospace as well as other markets, and described a proposal to combine the IBC’s and Nu-Cast’s respective skills for that purpose.
"Nu-Cast has successfully served the aerospace sector for almost three decades and is an excellent complement to IBC's technology, team and corporate vision," stated the foundry’s president, Don McKitterick.
"Beryllium aluminum alloys have a long history of superior performance in aerospace sector," he continued, "By combining IBC's propriety and cost-effective castings with Nu-Cast's manufacturing and marketing experience, we believe there is enormous potential for growth and we look forward to working with IBC on this opportunity."
"There are many immediate synergies between IBC and Nu-Cast where we can share our respective know-how to better serve the aerospace industry," according to IBC president Anthony Dutton. "We are delighted to work with Nu-Cast, who has a long and distinguished track record in the aerospace business, and to mutually increase opportunities for Beralcast in the aerospace sector and other industries requiring high performance precision castings."
Beralcast is a considered an alternative to aluminum, magnesium, titanium or metal-matrix composites for high-performance castings in which complexity and rigidity are required. IBC is engaged in a qualification process for its Beralcast alloys and castings with Lockheed-Martin's Electro-optical Targeting System (EOTS) program, for optical aerospace components on Lockheed-Martin's F-35 Lightning II aircraft.