Lockheed Martin and Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore the science of nanotechnology, with special focus on nanocopper and related technologies for the commercial market. Lockheed Martin and NTU will set up a joint research laboratory at NTU's Yunnan campus. The lab will allow NTU students and faculty to work directly with Lockheed Martin scientists on developing the nanocopper CuantumFuse technology platform, which can be used for a variety of high-tech applications. Nanocopper is the main ingredient in the advanced electrical interconnect material, or solder. Known as the CuantumFuse solder, this material is expected to produce joints with up to 10 times the electrical and thermal conductivity compared to tin-based materials currently in use.
Two heavyweights in the automotive and aerospace industries are joining minds on lighter materials. BMW and Boeing on Dec. 12 announced they would do joint research on carbon-fiber recycling and share knowledge about the material and its manufacture. As part of the collaboration agreement, the two companies will also share carbon-fiber manufacturing process simulations and ideas for manufacturing automation. BMW in 2013 plans to introduce two models from its new i brand (i3 battery-electric and i8 plug-in hybrid) featuring bodies made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner aircraft is made up of 50% carbon fiber. The collaboration is the first ever between the two companies.
Algae.Tec and Lufthansa signed a collaboration agreement for the construction of a large-scale algae-to-aviation biofuels production facility. The site will be in Europe adjacent to an industrial CO2 source. Lufthansa will arrange 100% funding for the project. Algae.Tec will receive license fees and profits from the project, which will be managed by Algae.Tec. As part of the agreement, Lufthansa commits to a long-term offtake agreement of at least 50% of the crude oil produced at an agreed price. The agreement forms the base for a long-term cooperation between Algae.Tec and Lufthansa for the industrial production of crude algae suitable for conversion into aviation kerosene and conventional diesel fuels.
Boeing awarded Magellan Aerospace Corp. a contract for the continuation of the production of complex, hard metal structural assemblies for the next-generation 737, 747-8, 767, 777, and the production of such assemblies for the new 787 Dreamliner airplanes. These integrated assemblies will be manufactured and delivered from Magellan's New York, NY, and Kitchener, Ontario, operating facilities beginning in 2013. Magellan's core aerostructures expertise is in the provision of complex, machined components for large commercial platforms. Boeing and Magellan have an established relationship and have benefited from working together to develop improved efficiencies using Boeing lean and value engineering tools as well as the Magellan Operating System.
Boeing and Mubadala Aerospace signed a 10-year direct contract for Strata Manufacturing, Mubadala Aerospace's advanced composite aerostructures facility in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, to produce commercial composite aerostructures for the 777 and 787 Dreamliner. In addition, the companies announced a strategic agreement that positions Strata to be a future supplier of the vertical fin for the Dreamliner, a major composite assembly. In Boeing's first direct composites supplier contract in the Arab world, Strata will manufacture empennage ribs for the 777 and vertical fin ribs for the 787 Dreamliner. Boeing has already begun to provide tooling, operational early training, and other support for those work packages, and Strata's deliveries of those components are scheduled to begin in 2013.