Composites Europe to Spotlight FRP Aircraft Manufacturer Suppliers

15 September 2015

Composites Europe to Spotlight FRP Aircraft Manufacturer Suppliers

Suppliers of fibre-reinforced composites solutions for aircraft manufacturers in Germany will be in the spotlight at this year's Composites Europe, 22nd - 24th September at the Messe Stuttgart, Germany.

Composites Europe organisers, Reed Exhibitions, claim that an assessment delivered by experts from the industry alliance Carbon Composites (CCeV) in the German Federation for Reinforced Plastics (AVK) 2014 market report explains that the aerospace market segment, including defence, will continue to help shape the development of the CFRP market in future. The authors forecast growth rates of 8% to 13% in the next few years, propelled by the latest wide-body aircraft, including the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, as well as by upcoming models such as the Airbus A350 XWM and the Boeing 777X. Projections call for carbon composites turnover to reach approximately $6 billion in 2022 alone. Another $1.4 billion is expected to come from the defence sector, which is set to grow at a 6% to 12% clip.

With a combined demand of 13,900 tonnes, Reed says that both aerospace and defence have emerged as the largest purchasers of carbon fibres, according to the analysis. Using only about 30% of the 46,500 tonnes consumed globally, the industry generates 50% of worldwide turnover. The authors conclude that “the CFRP market still promises stable and excellent growth potential.” Looking to benefit from that trend as well are the exhibitors at the international Composites Europe trade fair, numerous companies will showcase their industry-specific innovations.

When it attained DIN EN 9100 certification in February 2015, company officials from Krempel,Germany, felt that it became well prepared to enhance its presence in the marketplace and further underscore its aerospace competency. “We custom manufacture prepregs, plates and components from carbon fibre and fibreglass reinforced plastics. Among our specialities are complexly shaped 3D components in weights ranging from 3 grams to 600 kilogrammes,” explains Tobias Bässler, Krempel Director of Composite Sales.

According to Krempel, the latest certification in accordance with the DIN EN 9100 standard is the third the company has attained specifically for aerospace since 1989. Early Krempel products in this sector had a history of successful use long before standards were even introduced. The company started delivering support rods for various Airbus models back in the early 1980s. Today’s customers include the likes of Airbus Operations, Airbus Helicopter, Diehl Aircabin and Premium Aerotec. Krempel adds that investments worth millions of euros in the last two years have laid the foundation for continued growth in this segment.

Dekumed Kunststoff and Maschinenvertrieb, Bernau, Germany provide mixing and dosing equipment for core filling, adhesives, RTM and model pastes used in the manufacture of fibre composite components for the aerospace sector. “Our high-precision systems are distinguished by their compact and robust engineering, reliability, high variability, an outstanding life cycle-cost ratio and ultimate ease of use for the operator,” says Business Economist, Andreas Kleinhans.

With Incotelogy, Pulheim, Germany, will be exhibiting at the trade fair in Stuttgart. “Of particular interest for aerospace applications are high-quality basalt fibre fabrics, fabrics from basalt PP core yarn for thermoplastic applications, RFL-dipped fabrics, prepregs, various types of basalt fleece and multiaxial fabrics,” says Senior Marketing & Sales Manager, Wojciech Dlugosz. “Compared to E-glass fibres, basalt fibres feature higher tensile strength as well as enhanced chemical and thermal properties. Compared to carbon fibres, they’re four times as elastic, and they spring and absorb better.”

Dlugosz lists a whole host of features that make high-performance basalt fibres so attractive to the aeronautics industry, including excellent mechanical properties, outstanding sound and force absorption, high operating temperatures, resistance against aggressive environments, great impact properties, and easy handling during weaving and processing. “The fact that demand is increasing each and every year shows that the material has long ago found its market niche.” Collaborating with German and European research institutes and universities, he adds, the company continuously develops new basalt fibre products in order to meet customer demand.

Flugzeug-Union Süd, Ottobrunn is an institution of the German aircraft industry – and another exhibitor at Composites Europe. The wholly owned Airbus subsidiary supplies customers with everything they need in order to deploy so-called vacuum processes in manufacturing CFRPs and GRPs. “We provide materials used in processes such as prepreg, resin infusion, hand and glass laminating, and in the autoclave,” explains Michael Riedel, the Head of the Composites Production Supply Department. “We can dispatch deliveries at extremely short notice from our warehouse in Germany, which allows us to offer a supply service that’s based on actual demand.”

The current range comprises vacuum films, separating foil, peel plies, flow media, and adhesive and sealant tapes. “We recognised early on that there’s a trend towards supplying production lines with ready-made products. That’s why we provide our customers with a comprehensive set of services, from tailor-made products to complete kits,” says Riedel. “More and more of our customers like to take advantage of the direct tie-in with our warehouse via the Kanban principle or rather the electronic version of this just-in-time supply model based on actual consumption.”

Photo provided by Composites Europe.

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