You are here

INTERVIEW - Dr. Andreas Erber, Head of the Aerospace Segment, Composites, SGL Carbon

News International-French

1 Oct 2019

In August, SGL Carbon and Elbe Flugzeugwerke, a long-established German aircraft manufacturer, extended their contract to supply prepregs (impregnated carbon fibre textiles) for the Airbus A350 cabin’s floor panels by another year, to the end of 2020.

On this occasion, JEC Composites Magazine asked Dr. Andreas Erber, Head of the Aerospace Segment of the Composites – Fibers & Materials Business Unit at SGL Carbon, to tell us more about their projects in the aeronautical sector.

Dr. Andreas Erber, Head of the Aerospace Segment of the Composites – Fibers & Materials Business Unit at SGL Carbon
JEC Composites Magazine: The contract you signed with Elbe Flugzeugwerke confirms your growing involvement in the aviation industry. What does this sector represent within SGL Carbon?
Dr. Andreas Erber: SGL Carbon has been delivering various materials and components for the aerospace industry and its supply chain for many decades. For example, some of our production sites were already involved in the US Apollo programme. Today, the aerospace market segment is a key focus of SGL Carbon’s strategy. Not least with our broad high-volume expertise and material set-up from automotive and other sectors, we have a great chance to help aerospace customers to enhance their components, both functionally and regarding production efficiency. This is also true for secondary components as well as, potentially, primary structures.

JEC Composites Magazine: What are the specific products dedicated to this sector?
Dr. Andreas Erber: Throughout the past years, we have strengthened our portfolio with new solutions for the entire aerospace industry. For example, we offer various textiles e.g. for gliders and small aircrafts, prepregs and towpregs for interior and system applications, insulation components for aeroengines and fuselages as well as composite components used in UAVs, for example.

JEC Composites Magazine: Do you target specific applications?
Dr. Andreas Erber: We are targeting “traditional” markets and products such as gliders, airliners and helicopters. Last year, we also made great progress in the field of airtaxis – which is currently shaping as a new market sector.

JEC Composites Magazine: Do you focus on Europe only or do you also look internationally?
Dr. Andreas Erber: We are operating on a global basis with our main focus on production sites and customers in Europe and the US.

“The aerospace market segment is a key focus
of SGL Carbon’s strategy”

JEC Composites Magazine: Do you also have projects in the space field?
Dr. Andreas Erber: Yes, we are involved in projects dealing with payload fairings as well as insulation components.

JEC Composites Magazine: What are the advantages of SGL Carbon in this highly competitive market?
Dr. Andreas Erber: We benefit from our integrated value chain that reaches from carbon fibre and materials to semi-finished materials over to composite components. In addition, we built up comprehensive capabilities to support our customers with the design, prototyping and testing of new applications, which allows us to offer real smart solutions to our customers. Furthermore, our carbon fibre products with a high filament count perfectly address the economic challenges of the aerospace market, both today and tomorrow.

JEC Composites Magazine: Do you focus on a particular technology to increase your presence in this sector?
Dr. Andreas Erber: We will increase our presence in the aerospace market through new programmes, which are currently in the qualification phase, using our products described above. In addition, we are working on projects such as non-crimp fabrics based on 50k carbon fibres for primary and secondary structure components of future programmes.

JEC Composites Magazine: Can you share a few words about the market?
Dr. Andreas Erber: The aerospace industry has a great chance to further develop its standards by continuing to be open to new materials and processes, proven in other industries, to address the economic challenges taking higher built rates of the future into consideration. We, as SGL Carbon, are happy to exchange ideas regarding new developments and support this trend wherever we can.