23 October 2009
23 October 2009
DoKaSch have just revealed a range of new composite-based containers that they claim are lighter and stronger than traditional aluminium, delivering major weight and fuel savings helping airlines reduce their environmental impact
Following two years of successful flight trials, DoKaSch have introduced the new AKE lw-65 air cargo containers, made with DSM’s RP10 composite panels, based on Dyneema fibre and Aeronite resin from DSM.
The DoKaSch lw-65 ULD, with rigid RP10 panels, replace aluminium sheets and are constructed using the same structural extrusion framework. As well as gains in strength, DoKaSch say that lw-65 ULD has excellent resistance to heavy impacts and general wear and tear which they say can help to lower maintenance and repair costs by as much as 50% per year.
The lightweight RP10 panels are said to have excellent adhesion properties allowing IATA code stickers to be applied more easily and securely, avoiding damage or loss of labelling.
The DoKaSch lw-65 ULD can also be manufactured in any airline colour, which allows for easy identification. In addition, the panels display exceptional colour and mechanical stability over their service life and are also FAR 25.853 certified.
According to manufacturers, the new AKE is more than 30 lbs (15.5kgs), or around 20% lighter than standard aluminium containers. A typical mid size cargo fleet will load around 5,000 ULDs (Unit Load Device) over the course of a year which could result in savings of up to 1.5 million gallons (330,000 litres) of fuel, yielding a 28,000 ton reduction in CO2 emissions and potential cash savings of euro 2 million ($3 million USD) for airlines.
Speaking on these weight-saving benefits, Klaus Borowski, Global Sales Manager for DoKaSch said, “The issue is clear. The airline industry needs to lose weight in response to rising fuel costs and environmental and regulatory pressures. New material developments and applications can help this.”
“Advanced plastics and composite systems are making inroads in the aviation industry, replacing metal in structural, interior and cargo applications to help cut weight,” says Dietrich Wienke, New Business Development Manager, Aerospace and Aviation, DSM Dyneema.
Thai Flight Training (TFT), a subsidiary of Thai Airways, recently ordered an Airbus A320 door trainer from Spatial Composite Solutions.
NTPT is collaborating with the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne - Swiss Centre of Technology (EPFL) and other partners to research discontinuous fibre composite tubes for high performance applications.
Gulf Aviation Academy (GAA) recently ordered a Boeing 787 door trainer from Spatial Composite Solutions, complete with Spatial’s virtual slide trainer.