ASH GROVE, Mo — The next generation of Boeing aircraft could be made of metal from right here in the Ozarks.
The aerospace giant, Boeing Horizon X, recently invested millions of dollars into Gamma Alloys; It’s a company based in California, but most of their manufacturing will take place in Ash Grove.
They invest in startups and small companies for things like artificial intelligence, security, and materials.
In this case, they’re looking for a metal composite that’s stronger and more durable than standard metal without the added weight.
This small inconspicuous warehouse in Ash Grove will soon be distributing some of the building blocks for the technology of tomorrow.
Before you know it, this entire acreage will be put to the test.
“This is a good area, and a nice community. It was an easy choice to stay here,” said Andy Parker.
Parker co-invented Gamma Alloys process of mixing metal and ceramic powders after receiving a Ceramic Engineering degree from the University of Missouri in Rolla.
“The development for that product goes back to 2001. There are precursor products that go even further than that.”
This 9,000 square foot warehouse in Ash Grove is responsible for making composite metals, like this one here. You can think of it almost as like a Play-doh. Except it’s not just any Play-doh, it’s a raw material that companies like Boeing have chosen to invest millions of dollars in.
“The product has a lot of applications for aerospace, energy development, and automotive,” explained Parker.
The final product comes out in a billet, or large cylinder, weighing up to 500 lbs. That’s light compared to its durability, heat resistance, or conductivity.
All things that can be manipulated depending on the blend of powders used.
Those billets will then be shipped to be forged into bars, plates, or in this case… any part necessary to take flight.
It’s unknown just how much Boeing chose to invest, but Parker says that investments of this nature typically range from 1 to 10 million dollars. They hope to have construction completed and manufacturing started by the middle of January.