Leaders at the Russian composites market – UMATEX Group (ROSATOM), AeroComposit (UAC), Prepreg-ACM (RUSNANO) – presented their flagship projects in aircraft engineering, shipbuilding, wind energy, construction, automotive industry and sporting equipment on the largest international exhibition JEC World 2018 in Paris. The presentation was made at UMATEX Group (ROSATOM) booth during Products Show on 7 March 2018.
More than 100 representatives of international companies related to composites attended the presentation of the Russian projects at the UMATEX Group's booth. Yury Svistunov, deputy of UMATEX Group made an opening address to inform that the company owned extensive capacities for producing state-of-the-art carbon fibres matching international counterparts and produced fibre based items. UMATEX Group intends to launch promising investment projects for scaling up the Russian composites market tenfold and becoming a powerful global player in the next few years. They include a composite wind blade factory with the market potential of up to 500 tonnes per year, composite cylinders for compressed natural gas – 500 to 1500 tonnes per year, composites in construction of nuclear power plants – 500 tonnes per year, composite sports gear – 400 tonnes per year. In addition to development of in-house production facilities, UMATEX Group takes on the role of a composite solutions integrator to facilitate developing cooperation between the Russian companies related to composites. For that purpose, UMATEX Group spearheaded foundation of an industrial cluster Composites Without Borders to incorporate industrial enterprises, technical colleges and infrastructure facilities – special economic zones and tech parks. The Composites Without Borders cluster is expected to give a strong impulse to market development and delivery of joint investment projects by the companies related to composites.
Anatoly Gaidansky, Director General of AeroComposit reported on the use of composite materials in the wings of the latest Russian narrow-body airliner MC-21. AeroComposit with their composite wing project became a finalist of JEC Innovation Awards 2018 competition. The aircraft industry started using composites about fifty years ago. Back in 1969, composites made just 1 % of all materials in Boeing 747. Today, composites can make as much as 50 % of all materials in a modern aircraft. MC-21 was presented to a wide public on 6 June 2016. Wings, centre wing box, high-lift devices, and tail unit of the new Russian airliner are made of composites. Making of a composite wing implies automatic lay-up of carbon tapes and vacuum infusion. Composite wing testing took place in the end of 2017. In particular, the wing box was subjected to stress by upward bending. Gradually increasing forces were applied to the structural element until a complete loss of carrying capacity. The testing proved that the critical force had to be over 130 % to initiate the wing box failure. That value is significantly higher than the design value used by Irkut Corporation. It means that the aircraft would have an extra safety factor. On 28 May 2017, MC-21 had a maiden flight at a speed of 300 kmh and altitude of 1000 meters, which lasted 30 minutes. In October 2017, MC-21 made its first domestic flight from Irkutsk to Moscow.
Dmitry Kogan, General Director of Prepreg-ACM reported on developments of hybrid multiaxial fabrics based on carbon fibre for shipbuilding applications. Sanlorenzo, Italian shipbuilder, and their subcontractors, as well as T&T Metalli i Compositi, Italian distributor for the shipbuilding sector use the subject fabrics for luxury boats. Currently glass fabrics are predominant in shipbuilding with a share of up to 97 %. Yet, hybrid materials with better specific stiffness allow to reduce the weight of the end item while keeping its production cost the same. They feature a structure like that: parallel unidirectional carbon and glass fibres are laid in various directions layer by layer according to the lay-up schedule. The layers are stitched together with lightweight polyester threads. Conventional stitching patterns are used traditionally for production of multiaxial fabrics. Stitching threads can loosen when the fabric is cut, and the textile structure can be spoilt. Prepreg-ACM developed and patented a modified stitching pattern to keep the textile structure intact during cutting, thus reducing the amount of waste and the cost of production.
UMATEX Group exhibited their latest developments of state-of-the-art carbon fibers, fabrics and prepregs at the UMATEX Group's booth in Paris. Professional hockey sticks are most popular among the booth visitors. The sticks are made from UMATEX Group carbon fibre by Zaryad factory.
UMATEX Group (part of ROSATOM) incorporates country's only carbon fibre production facilities of industrial scale: Alabuga-Fibre in Tatarstan, Argon in Saratov region, C&CMP in Chelyabinsk. Research and development centre in Moscow owns state-of-the-art equipment for development of PAN precursor and carbon fibre technologies. 31 January 2018 saw foundation of a specialized organization for the industrial cluster Composites Without Borders aimed at providing procedural, organizational, expert, analytical, informational support to the cluster development, as well as facilitating investment raising and promoting composite products of the cluster members in Russia and on the international stage.