Belgian materials supplier Solvay SA will supply thermoplastic composite materials to GKN Aerospace's Fokker business for use in aircraft production, the companies announced June 20.
The two sides signed an agreement on the sidelines of Paris Air Show, which runs June 19-25, to “promote and accelerate” the adoption of thermoplastic composite materials on aircraft, combining expertise to advance technological developments in the materials, as well as improve processes and cost competitiveness.
According to Brussels-based Solvay, the two businesses have complementary materials expertise in thermoplastic polymers and fiber reinforced composites.
GKN Aerospace's Fokker business, said Solvay, also brings “leadership” in component design and manufacturing to translate the technology into innovative solutions for aerospace customers.
“Solvay's partnership with GKN Aerospace's Fokker business is an important step in our goal to become the leading supplier of thermoplastic composite materials to the aerospace, oil and gas and automotive industries,” said Carmelo Lo Faro, president of Solvay's composite materials global business unit (GBU) in a statement.
According to Faro, the partnership will also provide a deeper understanding of the market's needs and challenges in adopting new materials.
Solvay expects to be able to develop technologies to industrialize the manufacturing of thermoplastic composites and parts through the partnership.
“This agreement will contribute to our technology leadership in thermoplastic innovation. We design and manufacture the systems and components that our customers need, and this partnership will enable us to offer more advanced, lightweight solutions to our customers,” said Toine Verbruggen, vice president procurement and supply chain management of GKN Aerospace's Fokker business.
Thermoplastic composites can reduce the weight of aircraft components by up to 25 percent compared to traditional metal solutions. This helps lower emissions, boost aircraft performance and enhance the efficiency of parts manufacturing.