Summer 2016

In December 2015 the Airbus Group and TenCate Advanced Composites extended their supply contract relating to thermoplastic composites. This contract was recently confirmed. The Airbus Group and TenCate also both focus on product and process innovation.  ‘Our thermoplastic composite solutions highlight the innovation-driven approach taken by TenCate.’

On Friday 11 March last Loek de Vries (until recently President and CEO of TenCate), Frank Meurs (group director, TenCate Advanced Composites EMEA) and representatives of the Airbus Group confirmed the extension of their supply contract relating to thermoplastic composites. The official event took place during the two-day Dutch economic mission in France. Also in attendance were King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima. The fact that Airbus Group and TenCate Advanced Composites were able to highlight here the importance of the proportion of thermoplastic composites on Airbus aircraft, was a fantastic exposure for both parties.

2 composites airbus ondertekening

On the platform – from left to right Magda Ploumen (Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade), Queen Máxima, Frank Meurs, Loek de Vries, Olivier Cauquil (Senior Vice-President & Head of Material and Parts Procurement, Chairman of Airbus Group Material Board), Mark Walker, King Willem-Alexander and Harlem Désir (Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Development) (Photo Economic Mission to France, 2016. ©Stephanie Knibbe)

A working group, composed of both parties, is focusing on continuous improvement: ensuring that thermoplastic composites remain competitive with other material solutions, with a view to reducing overall lifecycle costs for users and end customers. 

Airbus Group and TenCate are also jointly developing new thermoplastic composites products and processes.

2 composites airbus A350

Airbus A350-1000 (Airbus S.A.S.)

The working relationship with the Airbus Group is based on the pursuit of operational excellence, cost savings and innovative solutions that provide added value. TenCate thermoplastic composite solutions highlight the company’s innovation-driven approach. 
The Airbus Group and TenCate have maintained a close relationship for many years. Through tier-1 companies TenCate Advanced Composites provides the Airbus Group with thermoplastic composite materials for secondary structures and interior applications in its aviation and aerospace programmes. A tier 1 supplier supplies systems and parts directly to the aircraft manufacturer. TenCate Advanced Composites is among the tier 2 and 3 suppliers of parts and components. In this way TenCate materials from Nijverdal are on the A320, A330, the A380 and in particular the A350XWB. A smaller quantity of materials from Nijverdal is used in aircraft of Boeing, Gulfstream, Bombardier and Embraer.

2 composites airbus A400M
The Airbus Group A400M is fitted with ice protection panels based on TenCate Cetex®. 

In the aviation and aerospace industry safety and reliability are sacrosanct. The greater the range of an aircraft, the more important the reduction in weight and CO2 emissions. The overall costs over its entire lifespan also play an increasingly important role in decisions taken by the end customer. Thermoplastic composites fully meet these needs, explained Frank Meurs in Paris. ‘The advantages of these materials are their processability into moulded parts and assembly, their high strength-weight/impact ratio, excellent fire, smoke and toxic liquid retardance, as well as their recyclability. They can in this way contribute to low overall life cycle costs.’

Blue fabric (Tecawork Blue 65287)