Contact person

  • Doris Karl

    Marketing, Communication

    Carbon Composites e.V. (CCeV)

    Doris Karl

    Am Technologiezentrum 5
    86159 Augsburg

    Tel.: +49 821 – 2684 1104
    Mobil: +49 151 – 27596905
    Fax: +49 821 – 2684 1108

Composites for Aeronautics and Aerospace

The aeronautics and aerospace sector is an important leader when it comes to the use of fibre composite materials in industry, since weight-saving is a key factor in aviation and aerospace vehicles, thanks to both energy-consumption and fuel-saving potentials. This segment is currently the largest global purchaser of carbon fibre for high-performance lightweight construction. The composites turnover for 2022 is predicated to be 5.5 billion euros for passenger jets alone, with the defence sector on top. Fibre composite materials began to blaze a trail in aerospace with wood. This was followed by a conversion to metal that enabled to build bigger and faster aircrafts with enhanced aerodynamics. More recently, the proportion of composites (carbon-reinforced plastic) has been increasing steadily for 30 years. Carbon-reinforced plastic has established itself as a core material in modern flying machines. Some 50% of the structural weight of aeroplanes such as the Airbus A350 or Boeing 787 is today composed of carbon-reinforced plastic materials. In the aerospace industry, the use of composites as structural material dominates, e.g. for the boosters of the Ariane 6.

Applications and procedures in aviation aeronautics and aerospace

Today, aeroplane hulls, wings, tail unit structures or water tanks are produced using composite materials. In the aerospace industry, they are use, for example, in satellite structures. A typical manufacturing procedure is "AFP" or Automated Fibre Placement used in conjunction with hardening in an autoclave. This method is used to make the hull structures of the Airbus A350. The rear pressure dome of the A350 is made using a textile pre-form and vacuum-supported infiltration. For larger batch sizes and when rapid production is necessary, thermoplastic matrix composite materials can be shaped into components in a heating press, in a similar way as when using metal sheets. Examples of these are the structural elements in the hull of the A350. "Thermal Tooling Optimisation" or TTO supports the manufacture of longer integral parts with excellent material efficiency, e.g. for helicopters.