Spring 2014


Protecting people in transit

Material technology group TenCate focuses on developing sustainable solutions to protect people in their working and living environment: Protecting people. On the basis of the six end markets on which TenCate focuses, we define four market themes here: In transit (mobility), In habitats (infrastructure, water management), At work (personal protection, defence) and During leisure (sport and recreation). txtures 1 focuses on mobility.

We live in a risk society, in which people have an increasing need for better and sustainable protection against countless threats, whether these are caused by nature or by man himself. At the same time, there is a growing awareness that supplies of fossil fuel are finite, that the CO2 footprint of our actions must be reduced and the impact on the environment minimized. Composite materials are making a significant contribution to this.

composites aerospace strepen lucht
TenCate has defined four market themes, including mobility (In transit), in which its materials, modules and systems can be used. Mobility accounts for 12 percent of total TenCate revenues, with a significant proportion of this being generated by composite materials for the aerospace industry. These materials can replace traditional, heavier metals. Aircraft, helicopters and vehicles are becoming ever lighter and stronger and producing less noise. As a result, fuel consumption is declining and the range of the aircraft or payload capacity can be increased. The use of composite materials thus contributes to the aim of achieving sustainable aviation: composite materials help to protect crew, passengers and cargo. For passengers it also represents an increase in comfort, as there is less need to raise cabin pressure, and humidity is improved. For TenCate, aerospace is one of its most successful markets and the company is well positioned in the newest generation of aircraft.

composites aerospace airbus lufthansa

(Picture: Airbus / Lufthansa)

Soldiers travelling in military vehicles can be more broadly and better deployed during defensive actions and reconstruction work. Composite materials make these and other vehicles lighter, stronger and more economical. Advanced fabrics, armour and protective systems help soldiers survive. In due course, applications in the shipping industry, automobile sector and other industrial fields will emerge. In these markets too, demand for weight reduction and fuel efficiency is increasing. TenCate already supplies thermoset prepreg systems and materials for Formula 1 racing cars. 

An exclusive delivery agreement has been reached with the Adler Group for carbon fibre composite prepreg material for the monocoque (passenger compartment) of the Alfa Romeo 4C. The replacement of metal by composite in underground trains, for example would produce weight savings of between 30-50 percent, shorter stopping distances and an improvement in acceleration. Mobility must after all not only be safer and cleaner, but also faster.

Blue fabric (Tecawork Blue 65287)