Plastic components featured in new solar-powered plane project

PLASTICS NEWS REPORT

Published: April 10, 2014 1:45 pm ET
Updated: April 10, 2014 1:52 pm ET

Image By: Solar Impulse André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard unveiled their solar-powered plane, the Solar Impulse, on April 9. The plane uses plastics in multiple parts.

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Sustainability, Aerospace, Materials Suppliers
Companies & Associations Bayer MaterialScience LLC, Solvay SA

Bayer MaterialScience AG and Solvay Group are supplying plastic materials for the new Solar Impulse ultralight plane in preparation for the first fuel-free around-the-world flight.

The Solar Impulse 2 aircraft was unveiled in Payerne, Switzerland, on April 9. The plane is set to undertake the journey in March 2015.

The predecessor Solar Impulse 1 successfully completed its day and night tour across America last summer.

With a 72 meter wingspan, the plane’s weight of 2.34 tons is similar to that of a Jeep, while its horsepower is similar to a motorbike’s.

Solvay Group announced that the plane has about 6,000 parts that contain its materials, which include nylon 6 and 6/6, PEEK and PVDF.

“Thanks to Solar Impulse, Solvay’s advanced chemical solutions and advanced materials have accessed a host of promising new markets, including solar panel protection, computer and mobile phone batteries, baggage compartments on planes and sustainable solutions in mobility,” the company said.

Bayer MaterialScience, which partnered with Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg for the project in 2010, was responsible for the design of the insulation system in the cockpit’s shell. The firm’s Baytherm Microcell boasts thermal insulation properties up to 10 percent above current standards, BMS said in a news release.

Baytherm Microcell was also used for the aircraft door, while the rest of the cockpit shell comprises a different type of rigid polyurethane foam.

BMS also supplied a polyurethane/carbon fiber composite material for the door locks and thin sheets of transparent polycarbonate for the window. Although the cockpit is larger than its prototype, it is only minimally heavier.

Outside of the cockpit, rigid polyurethane foam from Bayer MaterialScience insulates the batteries and the company supplied the raw materials for the aircraft’s silvery coating and the adhesives that hold the textile fabric underneath the wings.

Urethanes Technology International contributed to this report.

Image By: Solar Impulse The Solar Impulse uses materials from Solvay and Bayer MaterialScience.


Comments

Plastic components featured in new solar-powered plane project

PLASTICS NEWS REPORT

Published: April 10, 2014 1:45 pm ET
Updated: April 10, 2014 1:52 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Formosa to be compensated for Vietnam riot

July 28, 2014 1:44 pm ET

Taiwan's Formosa Plastics Group will receive $2.39 million from the Vietnamese government and insurance companies for damages suffered during the...    More

Image

Ukraine's Group DF may be forced to sell Crimea-based additives plant

July 28, 2014 10:12 am ET

Group DF, the industrial business of Ukrainian tycoon Dmitry Firtash, may be forced to sell off Eastern Europe's biggest producer of titanium oxide,...    More

Image

DuPont resins help take Nike golf balls 'Fore!'ward

July 25, 2014 1:07 pm ET

It may be difficult to imagine just how much science, not to mention rubber and plastic components, go into a golf ball. But global giant DuPont Co....    More

Image

Bioplastics maker wins government funding

July 25, 2014 12:13 pm ET

Canadian bioplastics maker Solegear Bioplastics Inc. has won $1.6 million in funding from the government-sponsored Western Innovation Initiative...    More

Image

Report: biodegradeable plastics use in Europe to grow 12 percent

July 25, 2014 10:25 am ET

The biodegradable plastics market in Europe is forecast to witness 12 percent compound growth during 2014-19, according to TechSci Research's “E...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recyclers Data Report & Directory

This exclusive MS Excel database contains all the companies from Plastics News' ranking of top North American Recyclers and Brokers by reprocessed volume and also includes a directory with materials processes, services offered and company contact information. Data is based on primary research by PN editorial staff.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events