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Researching lightweight construction of the future: FACC joins international consortium
Thursday, 3 March 2022

Aviation is facing major changes, which call for new materials that are both highly resilient and sustainable in production. By joining the international research network TPRC, FACC has taken an important step towards further strengthening its role as one of the world's leading aviation groups.

In collaboration with leading international technology companies, FACC is conducting research into the further development of lightweight materials, so-called thermoplastic fibre composites. These are particularly attractive for the aerospace industry as they are not only fully recyclable, but also very lightweight. Major international aerospace companies, including Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems, Collins Aerospace, GKN Aerospace, and most recently FACC, are therefore joining forces in the ThermoPlastic composites Research Centre (TPRC). In the research centre in Enschede (Netherlands), research is being conducted into possible further developments and applications of these promising materials.

"The short manufacturing time of the components is of particular interest to us," explains Robert Machtlinger, CEO of FACC AG. This enables costs to be cut and energy consumption of the processes to be reduced, which confers a key competitive advantage, particularly in the dynamic field of Urban Air Mobility. Possible solutions range from support and control surfaces to cabin components.

"Resilience, lower weight, processability, recyclability and cost effectiveness: the demands placed on materials for the construction of aircraft and drones are extremely high," emphasises Rene Adam, Director of Research and Technology at FACC. "The materials that are currently being researched together with international partners offer enormous potential in this regard. Manufacturing by means of thermoplastic fibre composites has now become one of the core elements of materials and process research in the aerospace sector," adds Adam.

Sebastiaan Wijskamp, Technical Director of the TPRC: "We are delighted that FACC has joined our consortium. FACC's ambitions regarding the use of thermoplastic composites fit seamlessly into the research roadmap of the TPRC. Our knowledge of the fundamentals of thermoplastic composites will definitely speed up the further use of thermoplastic technologies at FACC, while we, in turn, stand to greatly benefit from FACC's leadership and guidance as an industrial partner with a clear vision for the commercial application of thermoplastic composites."

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