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Conference covers carbon fibre for next generation fuselage

Composite applications will deliver a crucial contribution to achievements in reducing weight as well as aerodynamic friction drag in future, says Jens Hinrichsen.

15th September 2014

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Cologne

Industrial, Transport/​Aerospace, Construction

Smithers Rapra, the organiser of GOCarbonFibre 2014 Conference that took place from 8-10 September in Cologne, Germany, has interviewed Jens Hinrichsen, President of the Aerospace Advisory Group, US, about the carbon fibre capabilities to serve the next generation of fuselage.

Mr Hinrichsen was giving an exclusive presentation evaluating material cost as well as analysing return on investment entitled. The presentation entitled Next Generation Fuselage for the 737 and A32 took place on the first day of the Conference, as part of the session dedicated to planes, turbines and automobiles.

“It is an honour meeting with great characters from the composite community and to participate in a long-lasting learning process. The GOCarbon congress will provide sources of inspiration and motivation to better identify critical factors and to take on the tasks to overcome barriers as we are only half-way through,” said Hinrichsen.


“I had the privilege to grow up with the evolution of composite applications at Airbus, departing from primary structures for Airbus A310, with the vertical stabilizer and the rudder representing the most prominent examples,” said Jens Hinrichsen.

“A deep understanding of the interaction between design solutions and strength/dynamic behaviour defined the lessons-to-be-learned. Later on, composite applications for wing boxes represented a cornerstone of those Airbus technology programmes I was accountable for. The above evolution prepared the organisation and me for broadening the scope of CFRP usage for A380.”

Material cost reduction concept at Airbus

“The decision to significantly increase composite applications for primary fuselage structures in the A380 programme was based two different factors – the evaluation of cost-of-weight-saving vs. metal, and the technology readiness in combination with risk mitigation,” explained Hinrichsen.

“Both, centre wing box and unpressurized rear fuselage were under review; targeting substitution of metal with IM fibre based CFRP. With the given size of A380, both of these major assemblies required a huge amount of prepreg material supply per ship-set.”

“In order to amplify the material volume effect on prices, material standardisation towards exclusive application of IM-fibre material across all subassemblies was envisaged. As a result, composite material cost settled at an affordable level. The application of CFRP delivered significant weight savings.”

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