New aluminium alloy reduces risk of aircraft brake failure

June 12, 2003

Brussels, 11 Jun 2003

A Franco-German Eureka project has developed a new aluminium alloy able to better withstand the heat produced when an aircraft brakes.

An aircraft's wheels and breaks can become extremely hot as the plane's kinetic energy is transformed into heat on the runway by brake pads, and then transferred to the surrounding components. The wheel, tyres, piston and metal housing of the brakes are all susceptible to sudden and intense heat, making the fear of brake failure very real.

The new alloy can tolerate temperatures 15 per cent higher than other aluminium alloys.

The new alloy is now being marketed by French partner and manufacturing company Messier-Bugatti, while Otto Fuchs KG, the German partner, are exploring new markets for the alloy, such as impellers, parts for vacuum pumps and chemical centrifuges.

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CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities

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