Aerospace Leaders Embracing the Composites Revolution
From Hexcel to Collins Aersopace, more and more aerospace leaders are embracing the use of innovative composites in both aircraft and related parts. Keep reading to find out which companies are innovating in the use of composites and learn about the extensive benefits of converting to these high-tech materials.
Hexcel is a major supplier of advanced composite technology. Hexcel supplies Airbus’ A320neo family of aircraft with the advanced composite materials that comprise most of their airframes and engines. These lightweight composite materials enable long-range travel with significantly lower fuel burn per seat than older aircraft.
Hexcel’s composite materials bring many benefits to the aerospace industry. They reduce fuel consumption and emissions, provide weight savings, and decrease long-term maintenance costs. These composite materials also extend flight ranges, increase toughness and aircraft durability, consolidate part counts, and maximize passenger safety.
Greene Tweed is a leading manufacturer specializing in designing and manufacturing high-performance thermoplastic composites. This type of composite offers a wide range of benefits. These include reduced part complexity and cost, a tremendous strength-to-weight ratio, thermal stability, and increased chemical resistance.
Greene Tweed’s thermoplastic and composite structural components are lightweight, high-performance alternatives for metal parts. Their Xycomp® thermoplastic composite can reduce weight by up to 60% to help reduce emissions and fuel burn. Xycomp® thermoplastic composite materials are based on fiber-reinforced PEEK, PEKK, and PEI polymer matrix materials for use in severe service environments.
Victrex’s high-performance PEEK and PAEK-based composites give aerospace OEMs, designers, and processors high-quality alternatives to metal. Victrex composites help reduce weight, increase production speeds, consolidate parts, and offer design freedom to optimize the design. In addition, more than twenty-thousand aircraft have been built using Victrex composite solutions to cut costs and improve operating efficiency.
Victrex’s hybrid solutions offer up to 60% weight savings versus metal alternatives, significantly improving fuel efficiency. They also provide up to 30% faster installation versus metal. These composites increase corrosion resistance for longer service life, making them a lightweight, ergonomic, and durable alternative to metal.
Alpine Advanced Materials – HX5® material
Alpine Advanced Materials’ primary composite material is HX5®. This nanocomposite is a versatile and highly effective option for aerospace applications. HX5® has various advantages across multiple necessary categories, including performance, affordability, weight, production, and design.
This composite offers 90% of the strength at 50% of the weight of 6061-T6 aluminum. It performs well in extreme temperatures and has a high chemical resistance. The weight reduction with HX5® components allows vehicles to go further and faster. Its flexible production capabilities allow for considerable reductions in delivery time without sacrificing performance. This composite also reduces sustainment, production, and labor costs. Unlike most solvent-resistant materials, HX5® can be coated, primed, plated, and adhesively bonded, and it can be metalized to meet EMI shielding requirements.
Collins Aerospace designs, qualifies, and manufactures high-quality aerospace composites for military and commercial applications. These versatile composites are effective alternatives to metals and alloys because they reduce the part’s life cycle carbon footprint without sacrificing toughness and durability.
Collins Aerospace composites are created to be low maintenance and extremely lightweight.
They offer significant benefits, including operational cost savings, reduced energy use, design flexibility, and fewer part counts. These composites also feature improved temperature and fireproof capabilities, and they require a significantly shorter manufacturing cycle time.
Joining the Composites Revolution? We can help.
In aerospace, composites offer many desirable qualities. For example, plating composites with metal can add shielding, conductivity, and grounding properties. At SAT Plating, we offer design engineers a range of options for creating project-specific material combinations for aerospace and defense programs. Talk to a plating specialist today to take advantage of the most innovative plating materials available.