A unit of United Technologies Corp., UTC Aerospace Systems opened its new state-of-the-art Materials and Process Engineering Laboratory in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. The company also established a Materials Engineering Center of Excellence at University of Connecticut.
UTC Aerospace Systems designs, manufactures and services integrated systems and components for the aerospace and defense industries. The 20,000 square-foot MPE lab represents an $8 million investment and is part of United Technologies' plan to invest in new facility upgrades under the Connecticut Aerospace Reinvestment Act.
According to company officials, the MPE lab has advanced capabilities to support research, engineering and production. Lab capabilities include additive manufacturing ("3D printing") to build metal and plastic engineering development parts, as well as high-temperature composites to develop carbon-carbon and silicon carbide-based composites. These composites are used for aircraft brakes and nanomaterials to develop light-weight metal matrix and polymer composites for a variety of applications across UTC Aerospace Systems.
"As a technology company with more than 8,000 engineers, we are continuously making substantial investments in materials, products and processes that add more value for our customers," said David Carter, Senior Vice President, Engineering, Operations and Quality for UTC Aerospace Systems. "The new laboratory in Windsor Locks is yet another advancement in the technology that is the hallmark of UTC Aerospace Systems."
UTC Aerospace Systems also announced establishment of the Materials Engineering Center of Excellence at the University of Connecticut. The agreement includes a five-year, $1 million commitment to work with UCONN in the areas of additive manufacturing, high-temperature composites, thermoplastics and other advanced materials.
UTC Aerospace Systems will provide opportunities to rising UCONN sophomores and juniors to work in the new MPE lab and learn alongside UTC Aerospace Systems engineers and scientists in the areas of materials and manufacturing technologies for future aircraft.
"We are very excited about the new MPE lab which will transform the way engineers and scientists will collaborate to produce innovative solutions using a spectrum of material and manufacturing combinatorial techniques," said Mun Choi, Provost at the University of Connecticut. "The Center of Excellence we've established will provide our students with a unique learning experience by working in the lab with UTC Aerospace Systems' talented engineers."