Boeing’s new division, known as HorizonX, has made its first investment in advanced materials with a view to reduce weight and cost of materials for use in aerospace, automotive and other industries.
The company has announced an investment in California-based Gamma Alloys, which is pursuing breakthroughs in nano-reinforced aluminum alloys, where the aluminum is reinforced with microscopic particles, or nanoparticles.
Steve Nordlund, vice president of Boeing HorizonX, said these alloys provide increased stiffness, improved wear resistance, and greater strength than current materials across a wider range of temperatures.
“The wear, strength, durability and machining characteristics of Gamma’s materials have the opportunity to further reduce the weight of our products,” Mr Nordlund remarked.
“The traction that Gamma Alloys has gained in automotive, energy and aerospace reinforces our confidence that Gamma has a unique set of materials.”
Gamma Alloys CEO Mark Sommer said the company was particularly focused on custom solutions where design engineers are currently limited in what they can create with traditionally available materials.
“With funding from Boeing, we will explore compelling applications across demanding industries such as aerospace while accelerating our nanoparticle material development and the full-scale industrialisation of our manufacturing processes,” Mr Sommer added.
“The decision to choose Boeing HorizonX Ventures was simple – the opportunity to partner with Boeing was too compelling to pass up.”
Boeing HorizonX Ventures, which was established earlier this year, invests in new business ventures to unlock the next generation of game-changing ideas, products, and markets.
The company’s portfolio includes investments in autonomous systems technology, wearable enabled technologies, augmented reality systems, hybrid-electric propulsion and artificial intelligence.