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Fibre composites and light construction methods for aeronautics and aerospace at the EXPERIENCE COMPOSITES fair

25 Aug 2016
The " Aeronautics and aerospace" sector will be represented by showcase of exhibits with international renown stakeholders and featuring many large companies when the new leading trade fair for fibre composite materials, light construction methods and carbon, "EXPERIENCE COMPOSITES – powered by JEC Group" takes place in Augsburg from the 21st to the 23rd of September this year.

A range of companies from the aeronautics and aerospace industries are based in Augsburg, Bavarian-Swabia and Bavaria. A variety of ideas, exhibits and innovations from the "light aeronautics and aerospace" sector can be seen in Augsburg. Start-ups in the sector will also be presenting themselves to the wider audience at the trade fair. EXPERIENCE COMPOSITES is a joint project organised by Messe Augsburg, Carbon Composites e.V. and the JEC Group. Even prior to the premier, the multiple location event has already secured a wide international composites fan base, in particular, within the aeronautics and aerospace sectors.


Composites in aeronautics and aerospace

The aeronautics and aerospace sector is an important leader when it comes to the use of fibre composite materials in industry, since weight-saving is a key factor in aviation and aerospace vehicles, thanks to both energy-consumption and fuel-saving potentials. This segment is currently the largest global purchaser of carbon fibre for high-performance lightweight construction. The composites turnover for 2022 is predicated to be 5.5 billion euros for passenger jets alone, with the defence sector on top. Fibre composite materials began to blaze a trail in aerospace with wood. This was followed by a conversion to metal that enabled to build bigger and faster aircrafts with enhanced aerodynamics. More recently, the proportion of composites (carbon-reinforced plastic) has been increasing steadily for 30 years. Carbon-reinforced plastic has established itself as a core material in modern flying machines. Some 50% of the structural weight of aeroplanes such as the Airbus A350 or Boeing 787 is today composed of carbon-reinforced plastic materials. In the aerospace industry, the use of composites as structural material dominates, e.g. for the boosters of the Ariane 6.


Applications and procedures in aviation aeronautics and aerospace

Today, aeroplane hulls, wings, tail unit structures or water tanks are produced using composite materials. In the aerospace industry, they are use, for example, in satellite structures. A typical manufacturing procedure is "AFP" or Automated Fibre Placement used in conjunction with hardening in an autoclave. This method is used to make the hull structures of the Airbus A350. The rear pressure dome of the A350 is made using a textile pre-form and vacuum-supported infiltration. For larger batch sizes and when rapid production is necessary, thermoplastic matrix composite materials can be shaped into components in a heating press, in a similar way as when using metal sheets. Examples of these are the structural elements in the hull of the A350. "Thermal Tooling Optimisation" or TTO supports the manufacture of longer integral parts with excellent material efficiency, e.g. for helicopters.


Future and opportunities for composites in the aeronautics and aerospace industries

The factors which determine the success of the further establishment of composite materials in the aeronautics and aerospace industries include the quality of suitability for large-scale serial product, the automation of the processes necessary for such, combined with the stability of process and reductions in costs. Of course, energy costs also play a key role, since it is possible to save on these in operation by the use of composites. In any case, the further development of composite technologies will result in a general improvement in energy and resource efficiency. The further automation of manufacturing processes is a necessary framework condition which results in better use of the opportunities afforded by composites thanks to the fibre-tailored designs and concepts dedicated to the use of composites.

Also, on Thursday 22nd September, the EXPERIENCE COMPOSITES symposium will address challenging topics of Automated manufacturing of fibre-metal-laminates for high production rate presented by Premium Aerotec , Automated preformer manufacturing of a solid rocket propulsion on a full-scale basis made of dry carbon fibres processed in a winding and laying process by the German Aviation Center, Welding of brackets on thermoset CFRP by Airbus group or again Advanced automated manufacturing of composite structures for airframe and engine structure by Aerospace Structures.


Lightweight construction challenges in aeronautics and aerospace

"We must optimise the material mix on the whole within the framework of lightweight constructions. This means we always need to employ the most sensible material at the right location to ensure the best functionality. A good example for the combination of material and production technology is the Ariane booster, where dry fibre technologies, infiltration and automation have been expertly combined in order to improve performance and costs at the same time. The advantages of various materials, for example, carbon fibres and plastics in CFRP, offers considerable potential. Surely the necessity for increased efficiency with regard to the use of resources and energy will further accelerate this development", says Professor Michael Kupke of the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR).


Showcasing aeronautics and aerospace at EXPERIENCE COMPOSITES

The new leading trade fair for fibre composite materials and light construction methods "EXPERIENCE COMPOSITES – powered by JEC Group" dedicates a separate showcase to the aeronautics and aerospace sector in which regional players with an international orientation play a key role. When it comes to the development of aviation and aerospace in terms of composite materials and lightweight construction methods, "the framework conditions in our emerging region are excellent. As the DLR, this event further strengthens the transparency for what we do, why we do it and with whom we do it. The multiple location concept is very suitable for the fair, it presents and takes advantage of the high density of composite expertise in the region of Augsburg in research and industry ", continues Professor Michael Kupke. Hans Steininger, CEO of MT Aerospace AG adds: "The concept for the new trade fair is of course extremely interesting for us as technology leaders for metal and composite materials. Augsburg is, as lightweight construction cluster region, the perfect location for an event of this kind. MT Aerospace will be participating actively as all of the participants with their unique selling points in the composites sector present themselves to an international audience. This will promote the industry."


High level of interest in the " Aeronautics and aerospace" showcase

Philip Häußler, project manager of EXPERIENCE COMPOSITES is looking forward to the upcoming launch of the event: "The foundations have been laid for a very successful premier of our new trade fair. We look forward to the international interest. The resonance to date has already given me a good idea of the goals that can be achieved. The most important thing to me is that we put together our first successful event. Our customer should leave satisfied with the desire to come again. And we are working at high pressure with the JEC Group and the CCeV to achieve this. The aviation and aerospace showcase provides opportunities for a number of significant companies. I am pleased to welcome important representatives of this industry such as Airbus Helicopters, MT Aerospace, Coriolis and the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt to name a few. “.


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