AAR wins CSeries contract

AAR wins CSeries contract

APPLICATIONS Solar boat launched NEXT YEAR, the Tûranor PlanetSolar composite catamaran will set out to become the first solar-powered boat to sail ar...

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APPLICATIONS

Solar boat launched NEXT YEAR, the Tûranor PlanetSolar composite catamaran will set out to become the first solar-powered boat to sail around the world. The 30 m long, 5 m wide catamaran’s deck is covered with photovoltaic panels with a surface area of over 530 m2. The solar power will be stored in a lithium ion battery, which will power an electric motor. The boat was constructed by Knierim Yacht Club, in Kiel, Germany, in 14 months. It is an extremely lightweight carbon/ epoxy composite sandwich design. It required approximately 20.6 tons of carbon

fibre, 23 tons of epoxy resin and 11.5 tons of AIREX® C70 structural foam core material in various densities. One of the challenges for this sandwich construction was to take into account the weight of the solar panels, battery and motor, while designing the boat as light and as robust as possible. In 2011, PlanetSolar will set out to circumnavigate the world powered only by the sun. It will travel at average speeds of 7.5 knots and the 50 000 km journey will take about 160 days. Planet Solar; www.planetsolar.org

PlanetSolar, the world’s biggest solar-powered boat, was launched at the end of March. The project aims to promote the use of renewable technologies as the main energy source of the future.

AAR wins CSeries contract AAR CORP has been selected by Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast, to design and manufacture composite flap track fairings for the wings of Bombardier’s new CSeries aircraft. The contract could be worth more than US$90 million over the life of the programme. The work will be performed by AAR Composites, which develops and fabricates advanced composite structures for aviation and aerospace applications. Located in Clearwater, Florida, USA, AAR Composites recently expanded its manufacturing capabilities with the opening of a west coast facility in Sacramento, California. The expansion



REINFORCEDplastics

provides additional capacity for autoclave, oven, resin transfer moulding (RTM) and vacuum assisted resin transfer moulding (VARTM) composites processes. Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast, is responsible for the development, design and manufacture of the composite wings for the CSeries aircraft family, which is designed for the 100- to 149-seat market. It has already assembled a pre-production demonstrator wing using its resin transfer infusion process (see page 8). AAR; www.aarcorp.com Bombardier; www.bombardier.com

MAY/JUNE 2010

Composites strengthen Melbourne bridge

The West Gate bridge.

CARBON COMPOSITES are being used to strengthen the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne, Australia. The West Gate Bridge crosses the Yarra River and is part of a freeway that traverses the city of Melbourne. It is a 2.5 km long suspension bridge (approximately 6 km long including approach roads), with a 336 m main river span, 58 m high above the water, with its two towers culminating at 102 m above river level. The current traffic volume across the bridge of 160 000 vehicles per day includes 20 000 trucks. The renovation of the bridge includes expanding the bridge from four to five lanes and installing a public safety barrier. The strengthening work started in October 2009 on the east side of the bridge, using MBrace® carbon fibre sheets and fabrics supplied by

EPSILON Composite, France, and epoxy resins supplied by BASF, Australia. The MBrace plates (up to 4 mm thick) have a peel ply on both sides. The original design required more than 100 km of high strength standard carbon fibre plates, more than 10 000 m² of carbon fibre fabric, including more than 65 tons of adhesive and more than 20 tons of resin. According to EPSILON Composite, this makes it by far the largest carbon composite strengthening project ever, by a factor of at least three compared to previous jobs. The project is being funded by the Victorian State Government and the Australian Federal Government to the value of $240 million. EPSILON Composite; www.epsilon-composite.com BASF; www.basf.com

The strengthening work.

www.reinforcedplastics.com