Benefits of In-Situ Consolidated Composites in Aerospace

Composites have been slowly earning their way into the aerospace industry over the past 60 years. In that time, the number of composite parts in aircraft has grown steadily, and now some aircraft have composites in more than 50 percent of their structures and components. Even with this level of success, many people feel that aerospace composites are poised to take another leap forward thanks to the benefits offered by in-situ consolidated thermoplastic composites.

Benefits in-situ consolidated composites bring to the aerospace industry

In-situ, or in place, consolidation is a process that’s better for the aerospace industry because it only has one step. Thermoplastic materials are melted, and pressure is applied to them as the materials are placed on a shaping tool or on other layers of composite material. That’s it. The process is that simple.

This reduction in steps promises to be a huge benefit to the aerospace industry. This is because aircraft parts can now be made faster and at much lower costs compared with other composite production processes. Also, this process can be used to make a wide variety of aircraft components out of composite materials. Some examples of aircraft structures and components that can be produced by this process include things like engine nacelles, fuselage doors, fuselage tail cones, wing leading edges, pylons, flaps and more. One company even produced a full-sized helicopter fuselage for a customer in 2012 using the in-situ consolidated process.

The faster manufacturing of parts at lower costs and the ability to make so many different aircraft structures using one step are only two of the benefits that in-situ consolidation offers to the aerospace industry. This process can provide many other benefits to future aircraft such as:

  • Creating aircraft that have fewer parts
  • Decreasing aircraft assembly times
  • Creating significant weight savings with composite structures
  • Potentially providing double-digit reductions in aircraft fuel consumption

All of these benefits of in-situ consolidation make a strong case for the use of this process to create components and structures for future aircraft. The benefits offered by this process to the aerospace industry may help to push the industry to even greater levels of success and efficiency than ever before.

Composites One is proud to distribute composites materials to the aerospace industry

If your company creates composite components and structures for the aerospace industry, then Composites One would like to help you get all of the composite material supplies that you need. Our team can help you choose from thousands of high-quality composite materials that we keep in stock from more than 600 industry-leading suppliers. You can rely on local service and on time delivery, thanks to the 41 facilities we have across the United States and Canada. If you’re ready to get your products from the number one composite material distributor in North America, contact the team at Composites One now.