The Airbus A350 XWB is 53% composite. First flight is expected to take place in mid 2012.
The Airbus A350 XWB is 53% composite. First flight is expected to take place in mid 2012.

Airbus is a subsidiary of EADS.

Under this contract, TenCate will start delivery of Cetex® carbon fibre laminate to several Tier 1 and Tier 2 partners of Airbus that produce fuselage panels and components for the Airbus A350 XWB aircraft. The TenCate thermoplastic composite material will be applied to the stiffening structure of the body of the Airbus A350 XWB.

Cetex thermoplastic composites are available in sheet form as large as 4 ft by 12 ft or delivered cut to shape ready to press. Various combinations of reinforcement (glass, carbon and aramid) and thermoplastic are available. Prepreg and semi-preg fabrics are also available for preform moulding.

'Our thermoplastic material is already used in existing Airbus programmes, amongst others the Airbus A380," Frank Meurs, group director of TenCate Advanced Composites, explains. "These advanced fabric reinforced thermoplastic composite materials are already used for many structural and semi-structural exterior as well as interior applications in aircraft."

"With the supply of TenCate Cetex material to the Airbus A350 XWB programme, the importance of light and mouldable thermoplastic material is once again underlined," he adds. "One of the advantages of the application of thermoplastic composite is the ability for the serial production in large numbers."

TenCate Advanced Composites is part of Dutch group Royal Ten Cate (TenCate). TenCate Advanced Composites has plants in Europe and North America.