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UK National Composites Centre Receive 90 tonne Autoclave

20 June 2011

The National Composites Centre (NCC) has taken delivery of a 90 tonne autoclave from Airbus.

The autoclave, which will be used in the production of their composite materials, moved 5 miles from Airbus to NCC near Bristol, UK.

Peter Chivers, NCC Chief Executive, said “This is a real milestone for the National Composites Centre and I’d like to thank Airbus for making this important piece of equipment available. Over the next few weeks, as we complete installation and testing, we will increase our capabilities and continue to work with our members and customers to develop and validate state of the art composite manufacturing processes. With an ability to manufacture development components up to 10m long the NCC is now fulfilling its commitment to provide ‘industrial scale facilities’. Our in-house team can now step up a level in their work on researching the manufacture of parts from these light weight and super-strong materials, which will have an impact in so many industries, from aerospace to automotive, from marine to construction, from wind to wave energy, and assist in ensuring the UK has a world class manufacturing capability delivering economic growth.”

Airbus’s Mark Stewart, Head of the Filton Site said “Airbus is delighted to be a part of the National Composite Centre which will act as a skills hub allowing us and other high tech industries to share knowledge and research ideas. The advanced new composite materials the NCC will develop are the way ahead not just for aviation industries like ours but for other leading British industries which are developing advanced new lightweight composite materials which are lighter and stronger than traditional materials. “We in the UK are world leaders in the research and development of this exciting technology and by investing heavily in research and being integrated into organisations like the National Composite Centre we will ensure we stay ahead of our competitors in the decades ahead.”

“Investment in the future is absolutely key for Airbus and the move of this autoclave is complemented by the formation of a new Airbus Research and Technology plateau - a centre of excellence that will be located at the former autoclave building and will help create the cutting edge technologies of the future” Stewart continued.

Professor Guy Orpen, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at the University of Bristol and Chair of the NCC Board said: ""This important and rather large piece of equipment is a highly visible illustration of the progress the NCC is making and will continue to make as it places Bristol firmly on the national and international composites map"".

NCC explain that a team of over 50 Airbus experts will relocate to NCC, where they can share advanced composites knowledge and equipment with other experts from the aerospace, automotive and marine sectors amongst others.






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