Airbus Helicopters : an innovative composite project

NEWS | March, 15, 2017 in Eclose-Badinières, France

Airbus Helicopters : an innovative composite project

Porcher Industries, specialized in textile reinforcements and thermoplastic composites materials, used its how-know in thermoplastic matrices for the design of the rotor, a centerpiece of the helicopter. The H160 is the first civil helicopter with a composite structure making it an aircraft that is lighter, more robust, more resistant to corrosion and fatigue, and with significantly less maintenance needs. To meet environmental and performance constraints, Airbus Helicopters and Porcher Industries have developed a new CFRP (Carbon Fibers Reinforcement Plastics) solution for weight-saving and damage tolerance optimization (versus other metals or composites made of thermoset resin). After five years of joint work on this innovative composite thermoplastic technology, the new H160 helicopter, with its Spheriflex rotor, was presented at this year’s main international air shows. The high performance prepreg material was developed from a thermoplastic resin, and required special weaving and high temperature impregnation expertise. This project has allowed Airbus Helicopters to master the processing and production of a CFRP composite part.

With the development of this innovative solution in partnership with Airbus Helicopters, Porcher Industries confirms its technological leadership in high performance thermoplastic composites in the aerospace market.