Partnership aims at expanding the use of thermoplastic composite materials on aerospace structures
Solvay and GKN Aerospace have signed an extension to their 2017 collaboration agreement. Under the agreement, both businesses are developing a joint thermoplastic composites (TPC) roadmap to explore new materials and manufacturing processes for aerospace structures, while jointly targeting future strategic high-rate programs. In addition Solvay will remain a GKN Aerospace preferred supplier for TPC materials.
Over the past six years, Solvay and GKN Aerospace have engaged on successful projects such as a TPC wing rib program where the use of TPC and a one shot manufacturing process enabled the development of a lighter and cost competitive part; as well as the development of a cost effective AFP TPC fuselage panel opening the door to primary structure applications.
“We are excited to continue collaborating with GKN Aerospace,” said Fabrizio Ponte, Head of Solvay Thermoplastic Platform. “Going forward our teams will specifically work on next generation TPC materials and processes for aerospace applications including commercial aviation and Advanced Air Mobility. Our particular focus on high rate manufacturing solutions for medium and large structures.”
Arnt Offringa, Director of GKN Aerospace’s Global Technology Centre in the Netherlands said: “We are delighted to renew our agreement with Solvay. Lightweight technologies will play a key role in the journey to more sustainable aviation and working together has strengthened our technology leadership in thermoplastic innovation. Collaboration will be vital as we continue to push the boundaries of technology in order to meet our sustainability targets.”
GKN Aerospace is an industry leader in the use of TPC on aircraft and Solvay's PEKK composites and PEKK films play an important role in supporting GKN Aerospace's TPC development activities.
Solvay and GKN Aerospace team. Caption. (Photo: Solvay)
Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 22,000 employees in 63 countries, Solvay bonds people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The Group seeks to create sustainable shared value for all, notably through its Solvay One Planet roadmap crafted around three pillars: protecting the climate, preserving resources and fostering a better life. The Group’s innovative solutions contribute to safer, cleaner, and more sustainable products found in homes, food and consumer goods, planes, cars, batteries, smart devices, health care applications, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay today ranks among the world’s top three companies for the vast majority of its activities and delivered net sales of €13.4 billion in 2022. Solvay is listed on Euronext Brussels and Paris (SOLB). Learn more at www.solvay.com.
GKN Aerospace is the world’s leading multi-technology tier 1 aerospace supplier, with a mission to be the most trusted and sustainable partner in the sky. As a global company serving the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, GKN Aerospace designs, manufactures and delivers an extensive range of advanced aerospace systems, components and technologies – for use in commercial and defence aircraft ranging from helicopters, business jets, passenger planes and advanced air mobility vehicles to the most advanced fighter aircraft. In line with its mission, GKN Aerospace is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Lightweight composites, additive manufacturing, electrical wiring interconnection systems and innovative engine systems help to reduce emissions and weight on today’s aircraft, while it collaborates with global partners to accelerate the development of zero-emission aircraft technologies, including hydrogen-powered propulsion and all-electric flight. GKN Aerospace is market leading in aerostructures and engine systems, with 15,000 employees across its 38 manufacturing locations in 12 countries.