Autumn 2011

TenCate Advanced Composites and the end user

TenCate Advanced Composites (Space & Aerospace Composites and Industrial Composites) develops and manufactures in the United States and Europe advanced composite materials, compounds and systems for the space and aerospace industry and for industrial applications, including automotive and industrial components, and applications for energy extraction. 

The group is a global player in the space and aerospace sector, while now there are also opportunities for the application of composite materials in areas such as the automotive industry and oil and gas extraction.

TenCate’s major customers in civil aviation are the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) Airbus and Boeing, followed by Embraer and directly related suppliers. These are the tier 1 partners (suppliers of systems). TenCate Advanced Composites belongs to tiers 2 and 3 (suppliers of parts and components) and to the suppliers of composite material, a preceding link in the value chain. They obtain their raw materials from the producers of resins, polymers and fibres. The end-users are aircraft buyers: in civil aviation the aircraft companies, in the military sector the defence industry. When it comes to end-user marketing, TenCate targets OEMs, the so-called specifying body.

Safety and reliability are paramount in the aircraft and space industries. All materials must continue to perform under the most extreme conditions.

Product specifications and demands differ according to customer and application. In commercial aircraft building it’s primarily a question of low weight, high strength and impact rigidity. When it comes to interior applications, requirements concerning low weight and fire-resistance go hand in hand with aesthetic aspects. Radome producers require non-conducting composites. And whereas electrical transparency is important in the communication market, rigidity, outgassing and temperature performance are what chiefly count in the space sector.

TenCate Advanced Composites responds to these demands by investing in R&D, in the most advanced production resources, and in highly trained employees. The group has a broad range of specialist products, has carbon-fibre-free chambers at its disposal at the Morgan Hill facility, operates with short delivery times and offers excellent technical service. So customers choose composite materials from TenCate on the basis of quality, reliability and continuity. In the United States, TenCate Space Composites leads the field in composite materials for satellite programmes.

Increasing name recognition and visibility is receiving serious attention. No longer is TenCate an unknown quantity to OEMs. As supplier of materials for Airbus and Boeing, TenCate has excellent references, and now there are also direct contacts with the supply chain managers, the purchasing managers and the decision makers at engineering level.
Visibility in the markets is being further increased through participation in trade fairs, articles in trade magazines, web-based marketing and targeted sales representation. The Aerospace Selector Guide is a practical and convenient guide on the TenCate website that shows what materials are being developed and produced.

Blue fabric (Tecawork Blue 65287)