The Boeing Company announced last week an investment by subsidiary Boeing HorizonX Ventures in Californian aluminium-alloy firm Gamma Alloys. Although no dollar amount was revealed in the announcement, the investment is the first by the Boeing project in advanced materials and machining development and applications.
Steve Nordlund, vice president of Boeing HorizonX, explained that the investment in Gamma is meant to help his company tap in to the firm’s particular lightweight aluminium offerings.
“The wear, strength, durability and machining characteristics of Gamma’s materials have the opportunity to further reduce the weight of our products. The traction that Gamma Alloys has gained in automotive, energy and aerospace reinforces our confidence that Gamma has a unique set of materials.”
With nine years of experience in the aluminium-alloy field, Gamma continues to conduct research and develop aluminium alloys that are reinforced with nanoparticles. According to Gamma, such particles reinforce the alloy’s stiffness, resistance to wear, temperature resistance, and strength characteristics.
The firm places particular attention upon areas where design engineers face limits when using conventional materials. Gamma began its work with aluminium metal matrix composites (MMCs), branching out later into other lightweight materials and elements.
Gamma Alloys CEO Mark Sommer said that the chance to join forces with the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense was one that was not to be missed.
“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 industrialization of our manufacturing processes. The decision to choose Boeing HorizonX Ventures was simple – the opportunity to partner with Boeing was too compelling to pass up.”
With this investment, Gamma joins a HorizonX portfolio that includes ventures in the fields of autonomous systems technology, wearable enabled technologies, augmented reality systems, hybrid-electric propulsion, and artificial intelligence.