Soaring prospects: The aerospace industry at COMPOSITES EUROPE 2017

Soaring prospects: The aerospace industry at COMPOSITES EUROPE 2017
The aerospace industry is taking off thanks to fibre reinforced plastics, especially carbon-fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP). Credit goes to global aircraft production, which has been posting annual growth rates of seven per cent. From 19 to 21 September 2017, the exhibitors at COMPOSITES EUROPE in Stuttgart will be showcasing deployment possibilities for CFRP and other composite materials in the aerospace industry.

The aerospace sector is currently consuming 35,200 tonnes of CFRP annually, about a third of global CFRP production. Forecasts predict that quantity to almost double to about 65,000 tonnes by 2022. The “Composites Market Report 2016” issued by the industry association Composites Germany shows that the mood in the industry is correspondingly buoyant. Right now, 34 per cent of surveyed companies expect growth in this application area, while just two per cent believe the market will worsen in future.

Trend towards automation in aircraft construction

Industry expert Prof. Dr. Axel Herrmann seconds the notion that the use of CFRP in aircraft construction is booming. He serves as the chief technology officer of CFK Valley, the fibre reinforced composite network for the optimisation of the CFRP value chain, and as CEO of Composite Technology Center GmbH in Stade, an Airbus subsidiary. Airbus plants turn CFRP into complete fuselages, wings, vertical and horizontal stabilisers, and more. In Stade alone, some 55 tonnes of CFRP are processed each month. Production today is highly automated: “By now, automation has penetrated the entire market. Even for small and medium-sized companies, there now are many providers of automation technology for CFRP processing”, Professor Hermann explains.

Guided tour and lectures to cover aerospace

Among the companies at COMPOSITES EUROPE to address the aerospace industry’s composites-market needs will be J.H. vom Baur Sohn, Keller Lufttechnik, Ocsial and Solvay. The supporting programme, as well, is geared towards professionals whose main interest is aerospace. A one-hour themed guided tour on the first day of the trade fair will take visitors to industry-leading companies such as Airtech EUROPE, Dieffenbacher, Evonik, GUNNAR international and Grass. The number of participants is limited, so it would be advisable to register as soon as possible for the guided tour - which starts at 3:30 pm on 19 September. In addition, current topics, trends and issues pertaining to this application area will also be discussed at the COMPOSITES Forum in Hall 6, Stand B76, on the morning of the first day of the trade fair.

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