Designing and developing high-performance alloys
Our teams design and develop steels and alloys devised to withstand extreme heat, mechanical stress and corrosion. To achieve this, they melt the raw materials (air or vacuum melting processes for a high degree of purity), before refining them.
This is the temperature at which our AD 730 alloy delivers its highest mechanical performances. It was specially designed for manufacturing engine and land turbine parts.
Another process, involving the atomisation of molten metal by gas jets, is used to achieve metal powders. We've been using this technology for many years to produce high-speed steels and superalloys. Today, we're developing this technology for additive manufacturing.
- Over the years, we have gained a global reputation in the design and development of:
- High-performance steels
- High-speed steels
- World number one in gas-atomised high-speed steel powders
- A recognised player in the high-speed steels for aviation
Transforming metals into high-tech parts and semi-finished products
Forging, rolling, closed-die forging or drawing, etc.
We are extremely proficient in several stages of transforming metals to create critical parts used in the most exacting industries (Aviation, Energy) or providing them with semi-finished products (billets, rounded, squared or flat bars, threads, etc.) required for the most demanding industrial projects.
- Forgings and die-cast parts made from high-performance steels, superalloys, aluminium alloys and titanium alloys.
- Long or flat products obtained by forging, rolling and drawing, and spanning a wide range of high-speed steels, high-performance steels, superalloys and titanium alloys.
- The world's second-largest producer of high-powered die-cast parts
- The global benchmark in die-cast parts for aviation
Supplying high-tech markets
Thanks to their mechanical properties, our forgings or die-cast parts and our semi-finished products are an essential component in the activities of many of the most demanding sectors of industry.
Aviation: vital parts for manufacturers of engines, structures and landing gears for aircraft and helicopters and for the aerospace market (launchers and satellites)
Energy: forgings, die-cast parts and long products for nuclear reactors and generators; forgings for oil production (risers and pumps); parts for gas and steam turbines
Sea and land transport: a broad range of metallurgy solutions for the motor industry, ships, submarines, etc.; mechanical components and critical parts such as injection systems and transmissions for motor racing (notably Formula 1)
Health: cobalt and titanium alloys are used in a large number of medical prosthetics for their unrivalled resistance
Tooling: a wide range of tool steels, high-speed steels and superalloys are designed for the production of cutting and hot and cold forming tools, as well as tools used by subcontractors in various industries (aviation, automotive, electronics and glass-making).
- 35% of cutting tools used in the automotive, aviation and engineering industries are made from high-speed steels
- 30% of the weight of civil aircraft engines will be made using additive manufacturing by 2025
Optimising and recycling raw materials
Natural resources are not inexhaustible and transforming them has an impact on the environment. Fully committed to these key challenges, we seek to optimise the use of primary metal resources and recycle high-value processed materials such as titanium.
- Using secondary raw materials where possible as a substitute for primary materials
- Maximising the recycling - internal or external - of flows of waste containing metal materials
- Developing specific recycling activities: producing alloys from large and copious offcuts of titanium collected from major aircraft manufacturers and their subcontractors; branch for recycling batteries, catalysts and metal oxides, products that Europe is aiming to recycle as much as possible
Our environmental management system also incorporates specific management for the waste from our operational sites based on the following hierarchy: prevent the production of waste, reuse, recycle and generate value from it - or alternatively, dispose of it under environmentally-friendly conditions.
- 80% of stainless steel is recycled after a 25-year lifespan.
- 85% to 90%: the rate of use of secondary raw materials in the steels of the High-Performance Alloys division. Over 90% of the waste produced is recycled internally or externally.
Developing the digital plant
Adjusting supply to market fluctuations, anticipating customer demand, planning the activity of our mines and factories in a digital twin (virtual replica of the reality from the field), conducting predictive maintenance and connecting experts and operators in real time, etc. Human intelligence and technology are already being united in our plants, the ongoing objective being to produce in a more agile way and at lower cost to reduce our environmental impact.
- Using artificial intelligence to optimise procedures (big data and machine learning to create more fluid metallurgy procedures in particular)
- Full traceability of products, from the mine to the customer.
- A more effectively controlled environmental footprint
Bringing together internationally renowned metallurgists
The High-Performance Alloys Division unites the activities of Aubert & Duval and Erasteel, which are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Group and long-standing world-class companies renowned for their top-tier expertise.
- €680m in revenue
- 5,000 employees
- 18 industrial sites worldwide