Fortron PPS Approved for Composites in Russian Aviation

06 May 2005

VIAM, the Central Russian Materials Research Institute for Aviation Engineering, has given Fortron polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) clearance for use in composites for Russian aircraft.

A panel of experts confirmed the properties of the high-performance plastic from Ticona and approved its use in aircraft construction. This opens the way for the Russian aviation industry to introduce structures made of this material that offer improved weight and cost savings. Airbus is one of the companies that has used Fortron PPS for many years in both interior and exterior aircraft components.

Now that Fortron PPS has been approved, Russian aircraft manufacturers and suppliers are free to innovate lightweight structures incorporating this material.

According to Ticona's literature, Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS) (used for glass reinforced thermoplastics) is a high-temperature (Tm =285°C) thermoplastic material that offers an excellent combination of thermal, mechanical and chemical resistance. It is inherently flame resistant and is virtually unaffected by a broad range of chemicals, even over prolonged periods and at elevated temperatures.

Ticona claim that composites based on Fortron PPS help cut costs radically in aircraft manufacture and operation, using the A380 (which uses 25 percent composites) as an example. The Airbus A380 also contains more than 1000 Fortron PPS parts, with some of these applications providing cost savings of up to 30 percent and weight savings of up to 50 percent, according to Ticona.

Fortron PPS is used in today's aircraft in applications ranging from seats, equipment components and assemblies to wing sections, vertical tail and rudder units, and fuselage reinforcing elements. In these uses, the PPS meets requirements that include inherent flame retardancy, high chemical resistance and good dimensional stability. It also offers high hardness and rigidity and excellent oxidation resistance.

""Many companies in the Russian market are already processing our PPS,"" says Gunter Reitzel, head of the Fortron Business Unit in Europe. ""This has led to a growing interest in Fortron PPS in aviation, and we feel sure it will soon be widely used in the Russian aircraft industry.""

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