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Regional Growth Fund will boost development of proprietary aluminium casting alloy

Aeromet (Rochester) : 20 February, 2013  (Company News)
Business Minister Michael Fallon has visited the Rochester aerospace firm Aeromet that has secured just over £1 million from the government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Aeromet, which produces aluminium castings for the aerospace industry, will use the funding for a research and development project to exploit new technologies for its patented aluminium alloy A20X. The investment is expected to create up to 38 jobs across its three sites in Rochester, Sittingbourne and Worcester.

Research into the alloy A20X - the strongest cast aluminium alloy available commercially – will help to provide a more cost effective and versatile way to produce aluminium components and explore its use within aerospace and other sectors such as defence, renewables and the automotive markets.

Above all it is hoped that the research will improve efficiency by reducing the weight of individual components and reducing overall emissions in transportation costs.

Aeromet’s Commercial Director, Alan Dustan, commented: "Without the RGF Funding the project would either have been delayed for a number of years or not proceeded at all. However, with the funding we can continue the research, support the three Aeromet sites and their supply chains as well as creating over 30 new positions."

As a result of the project, Aeromet will work with the Universities of Birmingham and Warwick to further explore the properties of A20X.

A20X in profile

  • A20X is a modified version of the aluminium copper alloy A201 and eliminates the problems associated with the poor castability of the aluminium copper series of alloys yet has the fluidity comparable with aluminium silicon based alloys such as A357.
  • A20X is an innovative new alloy that has overcome shrinkage porosity, segregation, is not prone to hot tearing and is more resistent to stress corrosion cracking. A20X is very strong and highly castable, according to Aeromet the strongest cast aluminium alloy currently available.
  • With improved properties at elevated temperatures over traditional cast alloys and 7000 series wrought material, A20X has a high weight to strength ratio, significantly improved corrosion resistance and an extended fatigue life. Coupled with the casting process the benefits against machining from solid are even more persuasive.
  • Typical Yield Strengths up to 440MPa, Tensile Strengths of 500MPa and elongation of 3-5%.
  • AMS specifications for both sand and investment castings have been cleared by the AMS Technical Committee ''D'' and the SAE Aerospace Council and have been designated as AMS4471 for investment castings and AMS4482 for sand castings.

Regional Growth Fund

  • The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is a £2.6 billion fund operating across England from 2011 to 2016. It supports projects and programmes that lever private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment.
  • Round 4 of the Regional Growth Fund is now open and will close to applications on 20 March 2013 at noon and bids will be appraised as quickly as possible. Potential applicants can register for an expression of interest event in London on 4 March for further help with the application process. Contact 0207 215 3295 to register or to find out more information.
  • The Regional Growth Fund is part of the government’s work with industry to develop an industrial strategy, including a strategy for the aerospace sector so that the UK continues to be a leading aerospace nation. This will support the sector in developing new technologies for future aircraft and to produce high value products both faster and to higher standards.


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