Summer 2015

Composites - in aerospace and automotive

Whether it is aerospace or automotive, composites are valued for their high strength and light weight.  On launch vehicles, every kilogram saved allows for more payload (satellite) and for every kilogram saved on an automobile represents increased range and better fuel economy. Similar goals on a widely different scale.  Whether it is applications in space and aviation, or in automobiles, customers are making use among other materials of high-grade composites from TenCate Advanced Composites. 

When it comes to mobility, TenCate Advanced Composites operates mainly in the aerospace and automotive markets. Each market group has unique customers and end-users in various segments of these markets. In aerospace, this includes space and satellites, commercial and general aviation, unmanned aerial vehicles, helicopters and military aircraft.

composites airbus
Airbus A320 (picture Airbus S.A.S. / rendering Fixion - GWLNSD) 

The actual parts built with TenCate composites depends upon the application. In satellites, composites are used to manufacture the solar panels, the reflectors, the structure holding the electronics as well as various booms and trusses for antenna and instruments.  With respect to aerostructures such as commercial aircraft, private and business jets, unmanned aerial vehicles, military aircraft and helicopters, TenCate materials are used to for structural and non structural applications. Structural applications include primary structure like the fuselage, wings and spars and secondary structure which includes interior applications, access doors, and flight control surfaces.   

Regional accents 

TenCate has manufacturing sites in Europe (Nijverdal, NL and Langley Mill, UK) and the United States (Morgan Hill and Fairfield in California) for this purpose. In the US, the focus  is on applications in aerospace, civil aviation, the market for business jets and defence.  In Europe, the focus is on large commercial aircraft and regional jets from our Nijverdal facility and automotive (sportscars and Formula One cars) in our UK facility. In the context of its Asia strategy, TenCate is working together with parties in the Chinese aviation industry. One of TenCate’s key customers in the United States is Cirrus Aircraft, and they are now owned by CAIGA, which is the Chinese Aviation Industry General Aircraft Ltd. TenCate also contributes technological knowledge and materials to D²RAGON. This Dutch aviation cluster aims at building a good, stable market position in China. The market group implements a single global strategic plan. The strategic actions are specified by segment and limited to regional markets.  

Distinctive in materials and knowledge 

TenCate Advanced Composites serves customers in these segments with tailored, unique products, a very high degree of technical support and industry-leading customer service. Most of the materials offered by TenCate are equivalent or similar to those of our competitors. ‘So what really sets us apart are our people and our world-class manufacturing facilities’, states Michael Cichon. ‘We serve our customers with diverse product families, ranging from thermoplastic composites to thermoset composites to precision-moulded parts used for critical aircraft structures, radomes, jet engines, helicopter blades, etc. We tailor our approach to each market based on the individual demands of that market, and we rely on the expertise of industry experts within our teams to deploy our customer support strategies properly.’ 

txtures 2 summer 2015 cover