Airbus and its partners develop CRES

28 September 2015

Airbus partners with Messier Bugatti Dowty, Carpenter Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at the University of Sheffield, to develop the maturity of a new corrosion-resistant stainless steel alloy known as “CRES” – for future use in the landing gear components. As part of the joint evaluation, nine A320 main gear components have been forged in the new steel and are being used for further materials development, including establishing properties of the as-manufactured materials and to define the optimum industrialization route. Apart from this, two more components are being manufactured to a ‘final finish’. In the future, the team plans to assemble a fully CRES landing gear for in-service evaluation.

The new CRES steel avoids the need to use traditional cadmium and chromate coatings and confers intrinsic corrosion resistance, thereby becomeing an alternative to both existing low-alloy carbon steels and titanium alloys for future aircraft landing gear. The strength of CRES can be compared with the current steels, and will be available for less than half the price of titanium alloys. Because of its fracture toughness and stress corrosion cracking resistance, it is much more environmentally robust.