What the Future of Composite Materials Means for the Aerospace MRO 9Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) Sector
With a constant need for lighter and more efficient aircraft, the aerospace industry has been especially welcoming of developments in composite materials. Over the past several years, the industry has adopted more composite materials, drawn by such benefits as increased durability and heat resistance, better aircraft life cycle, flexibility and more.
As composite material production evolves, and design and production processes improve, we can expect to see even greater adoption of composite material in the aerospace industry. In fact, the market is expected to grow from $26.87 billion in 2017 to $42.97 by 2022, according to Research and Markets’ aerospace composites market report and global forecast – a CAGR of 9.85%. Boeing and Airbus have both shown increased investment in composite material use, with the 787 and A350 composed of roughly 50 percent composite materials. For the aerospace MRO sector, composites offer several benefits.
Airbus reported a 60% reduction in fatigue- and corrosion-related maintenance tasks for its A350 XWB since adopting composites, based on the amount of time spent on each check and the amount of checks required during the aircraft life cycle. This translates to faster and less frequent repairs, which can keep aircraft off the ground and in the air for longer periods of time.
Better fatigue resistance
Prepregs are reinforcement materials pre-impregnated with thermoplastic or thermoset resin. These create lightweight, high-strength composite laminates that have increased fatigue and corrosion resistance and more controlled fiber volume fraction and can be used to strengthen internal or external aircraft features.
Traditional materials can wear down over time, but composites like carbon fiber, epoxy and other structural adhesives help improve the aircraft’s life cycle – again, thanks to their corrosion resistance and ability to withstand high temperatures and pressures.
Less material waste
Composites make it easier to conduct on-wing repairs, which means less material waste and, in turn, lower cost.
Less time spent on MRO tasks
Less maintenance means less cost and more in-flight time. In addition, the technique of bonded repairs can be more easily performed than standard repairs, and in less time – only 8-12 hours.
Composites One is the leading supplier of composites for the aerospace industry
Composites One is the leading supplier of composite materials throughout North America. We allow the aerospace industry to operate on the cutting-edge of advanced composites, providing high-performance products that are lightweight and high-strength. To learn more about our composite materials and how they can improve the longevity of and reduce the MRO time for your aircrafts, contact our technical specialists today.
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