Winter 2010

TenCate composites - airworthy and reliable

Advanced composites are fibre-reinforced plastics made mostly of glass, carbon and aramid fibres. TenCate composite materials are based on textile technology combined with chemical processes. They consist of a composition of fibres or fabrics from which semi-manufactures are made with the addition of resin systems.

Advanced composites combine high strength and low weight; they reduce fuel consumption, extend the lifespan of aircraft and vehicles, have excellent formability and are also flame-retardant, and acid- and moisture-resistant.

Production of carbon fabrics at Ten Cate Advanced Composites USA in Morgan Hill

The use of advanced composites ensures fuel reduction and considerable extension of the lifespan of aircraft, ships, vehicles and satellites. These are becoming lighter, stronger, safer, more economical and – certainly in aviation – more cost efficient. 

Advanced composites from the Space & Aerospace Composites group are primarily used in the world of space and aerospace: in commercial and military aircraft, satellites and exploration vehicles for Mars missions for example.

The Cirrus SR 20 and SR 22 completely consist of composites

Both the space and aerospace markets are conservative: safety and reliability are of the utmost importance. The costs of the development and qualification of materials are high. Once a certain material is used after qualification, not a single modification may be made for follow-up deliveries – unless it relates to a proven improvement. This makes it financially unviable to seek out new materials unless there is a technical or business need for them.

In radomes and materials for space applications TenCate’s Space & Aerospace Composites group is global market leader

In the lead
Space & Aerospace Composites is a major player in its niche markets when it comes to the development and production of composite materials for these demanding applications. The market group is even the global market leader in radomes and materials for space. Many years of knowledge and experience relating to materials and technology, flexibility and continuity, and the reliability of quality and delivery underpin this position. This expertise is partly the result of cooperation with partners in the value chain (such as  Fokker Aerostructures , the Technische Universiteit Delft and Universiteit Twente ) and in development and innovation consortia such as  TAPAS and TPRC .

Blue fabric (Tecawork Blue 65287)