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The manufacturing of beryllium-aluminum billets in this process generates a good deal of waste material, because it is difficult to make accurate preforms from the pressed powder billet process. Of course, that means lower material yields in the final components and higher unit costs.

In the aerospace industry, the “buy-to-fly” ratio can be as great as 30 to 1 with some advanced materials and alloys. That means a 10-pound part may require a 300-pound billet material buy. In sharp contrast, IBC’s manufacturing approach allows components to be created with up to a 98-percent material utilization that directly improves the value to the end user. Moreover, 100 percent of the material from the casting process can be recycled.

Other Applications

IBC has entered into a joint development contract with BAE Systems for production of prototype articles for BAE Systems. The work marks a significant expansion of IBC's work with global aerospace manufacturers interested in utilizing Beralcast®, and the company is working with several other aerospace companies for initial parts that will be examined for form, fit and function before proceeding to higher-rate contracts.

Additionally, IBC is currently working under a four-year exclusive contract with a global precision automation manufacturer that produces equipment used to fabricate and assemble semiconductor/electronic components. This demonstrates the breadth of potential applications for Beralcast and other advanced materials.

Beralcast® is also used in other applications, such as dynamic structures, positioning gimbals, optical mounts, fast acting automation structures and thermal management components.

IBC is building on its advanced materials and processing expertise to expand its offerings to new product applications and alloys. The market potential of beryllium and beryllium-containing alloys is quite large: an estimated $300-$500 million annually. Those are the markets currently being disrupted by Beralcast® and other high-performance alloys.

This article was written by Chris Huskamp, President, IBC Engineered Materials Division (Wilmington, MA) and Jim Sims, Director of Investor Relations, IBC Advanced Alloys (Franklin, IN). For more information, Click Here .