This award is sponsored by the National Composites Centre (NCC) and recognises the significant manufacturing and materials progress achieved in developing this all-composite structure.
This second award also recognises the success of the intensive development and production programme for the
A350 XWB wing spar, with
As a result the spar has met demanding weight, strength and flexibility targets.
The 27m long A350 XWB rear wing spar
is manufactured in three sections and forms the structural heart of the aircraft wing's fixed trailing edge (FTE), holding vital parts such as the main landing gear. The spar has complex integral contours that enable it to carry precise customer-specified aircraft loads at critical points and yet remain flexible and lightweight.
The manufacture of this structure has been possible as a result of a wide range of manufacturing innovations.
Chief among these are two key developments: The use of automated fibre placement (AFP) machines which use a 5 axis head to lay down carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) material at more than eight times the maximum hand lay-up speed - and with a consistency and accuracy that is impossible to achieve manually; And the development of a new composite material, by materials supplier
"Creating the advanced manufacturing processes and materials to manufacture this innovative structure has strengthened the
Our partnership with
To produce this complex spar structure - and assemble the WTE which is also the company's responsibility, the company has created a totally new, advanced, automated manufacturing and assembly facility near
Using this new facility, the company can produce lightweight CFRP components with complex, bespoke geometries, and integrate complete assemblies swiftly, cost effectively and consistently.
This second composites award success follows the recent receipt of the Horners award for plastics innovation. (release dated 07/10/13.)
Inspection of the a composite wing spar section at
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