A Chinese company has developed a world-leading aluminium alloy technology that is expected to help China's homegrown C919 passenger jets reduce 15 percent of their weight in the future.
The technology, a nano-ceramic aluminium alloy, was developed by Shanghai-based JuneYao Group. The new material is able to increase the strength of traditional aluminum alloys by 30 percent and it may take one or two decades for foreign competitors to catch up with such technology, the company's president Wang Junhao said at a conference on Sunday.
"Why reduce airplane weight? Based on the oil price in 2015, losing one kilogram of a jet's weight equates to saving 12,000 yuan in fuel consumption," Wang said.
Wu Guanghui, the chief designer of the C919, said in an earlier interview that the team was testing the new material's performance in panels and forge pieces. If the material passes the test, it will be used in a large scale to replace import materials.
The new material has been widely used in space satellites, space stations such as Tiangong-1 and Tiangong-2, as well as in airplane applications, according to media reports.
JuneYao Group began cooperation with Shanghai Jiaotong University in 2015 to develop a new materials business. In September 2017, the company set up a research institute, claiming intellectual property rights on ceramic aluminium new materials.