SKF Aerospace France has become a main partner in the A380 Airbus project, supplying 150 carbon fibre composite struts to support the fuselage.
SKF is providing structural improvements for weight savings, increased capacity and improved cost efficiency. The use of alternative materials to aluminium and steel, such as composites and titanium, drove the development of lightweight bearings for the landing gear, composite solutions for the wing box, and complete reinforcement of the belly fairing structure. SKF suggested that the use of composite rods, which were processed using RTM, compared with aluminium, offers a weight saving of around 40%.
This included titanium materials and system units based on rods and bearings, such as the horizontal tail plane mechanism or attachment bearings and reverse links.
The special kit of about 150 composite struts of 2.5m, delivered with around 2000 bolts and parts required for the wing box, is an example of the wide range of composite solutions that SKF Aerospace can develop, said a source at SKF.
SKF also supplied fly-by-wire equipments and high loaded pinion bearings for the wings flaps and slats.
SKF Aerospace has also been qualified as a source for main shaft and gearbox bearings for the two A380 powerplant alternatives: the Rolls Royce Trent 900 and the Engine Alliance (General Electric – Pratt and Whitney) GP 7200.
Based on integral main shaft bearings, the design enables the engine manufacturer to reduce weight, cost and number of engine parts.
SKF Aerospace France were formerly known as SARMA until July 2005.
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