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First nanofibre producer to meet aerospace industry standards

News International-French

12 Nov 2015

New Zealand company Revolution Fibres is the first nanofibre producer to meet aerospace industry standards.

The Auckland-based company’s AS9100c certification will allow Revolution Fibres to further develop nanofibre products for its aerospace clients and enable it to make advancements in its work with composite materials.

Managing Director Iain Hosie says the certification, a quality assurance requirement for all aerospace manufacturers and suppliers, is a significant step in the transition of Revolution Fibres from a world class R&D entity to offering large-scale manufacturing services in a diverse range of industries.

For example, he says being AS9100c certified enhances Revolution Fibres’ Xantu.Layr™ product, which is the world’s only commercially available nanofibre composite reinforcement veil.

Nanofibre Applications Engineer, Dr. Gareth Beckermann, explains that when Xantu.Layr™ is placed in between layers of carbon fibre in composite laminates it provides nano-scale reinforcement.

“Using Xantu.Layr results in a tougher resin which is less prone to failure or cracking when stressed or impacted. The product has been shown to significantly improve interlaminar fracture toughness, compression after impact strength, interlaminar shear strength and fatigue resistance of composite laminates.”

Dr. Beckermann says unlike many toughening methods, the physical and mechanical properties of a composite such as glass transition temperature, flexural strength and modulus, and tensile strength and modulus are not negatively impacted by the inclusion of Xantu.Layr™.
Hosie says the world is constantly searching for textiles that are not only better and stronger, but lighter and more functional, and nanofibre fits the bill.

“With the AS9100c certification, it allows us take nanofibre technology and the products we produce to the next level.”
Revolution Fibres’ ground breaking electro-spinning technology creates nanofibre out of a range of materials including high melt temperature polymers such as PES and PAI, as well as polymers derived from natural sources such as lignin.

Its nanofibre products are used to do everything from strengthening fishing rods through to enhancing satellite components, and existing nanofibre product lines that Revolution Fibres helped develop include filters for HRV Next Generation ventilation systems and Phonix acoustic materials for buildings and furniture.

“Revolution Fibres started the nanofibre revolution in New Zealand five years ago with a goal to grow the nanofibre export industry and now that is becoming a reality.”

The company’s product development arm, Nanofibre Customisation Services, is also subject to the new certification meaning there is quality assurance across all parts of the business.

In the last two years Revolution Fibres has been working on a number of research and development programs with US businesses, including everything from satellite components and decontamination apparatus through to facemasks and functional foods.

“These research and development programs ultimately allow us to do what we do best and that’s innovate,” says Hosie.

“We work collaboratively with overseas engineers and our team is incredibly skilled at applying our company’s expertise to very diverse projects.

“The great thing about nanofibre is that although the technology is advanced and sometimes complex, the end product is actually useful for everyday things. It's not so hi tech that it's out of this world.”