Composite industry in Russia: on the eve of the boom

Round table «Promising materials in aircraft», held within the framework of the International Congress of Aviation, brought together leading professionals in the design and manufacture of composite structures. Competitiveness of Russian producers in almost everything is dependent on the creation of advanced know-how, the development of Russian manufacture materials, highly automated production and start entering the international market, according to participants of the event.

Forgotten leadership

A pioneer in the development of composites in aviation Our homeland is one of the first materials delta hardwood, was created back in the war years. In the 1960s, the country started active work on the development of structures made of fiberglass, and a decade later, the Russian materials scientists started creating the first generation of carbon fiber products. Evidence of progress in this area became the first airplane flight of cosmic reusable «Buran». 25 years ago in an alien space check passed and made of carbon fiber composite 18-meter wing flap that covers the payload bay. Obninsk NPP «Development» that created these unique products, and is now a favorite in the mass production of products for the aerospace industry of the Russian Federation.

It will be recalled that three decades reversed only four countries in the world producing carbon fiber, which could be used in aerospace structures. Besides Russian Union, this technology has the United States, England and Japan. But by creating a limited-edition series of experimental aircraft and with extensive use of carbon fiber, but not coming to the mass market, Russian aircraft did not become a big consumer of advanced materials. As a consequence, the use of the global volume of 70 thousand tons per year of carbon materials (10 thousand of them — in the aerospace industry), Russian manufacturers of aircraft and use of cosmic art in their own designs only 10s tons per year, which restricts marketing to Russian manufacturers of composite products.

At the same time, the introduction of materials based on carbon fiber are constantly stepping up its own scale. Market growth is estimated at 5-10% per year. New liners Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 for use CFRP reached the level of about 50% by weight of the structure — they have a «dark» wing and fuselage. Composite wing are Canadian Bombardier CSeries airliner and Russian MS-21. Extensive application in the development of mechanization of parts, foils, flaps and hatches have found carbon composites in aircraft Sukhoi Superjet-100. Russian manufacturers of composites must prepare for explosive growth in demand for their products due to the expansion of Russian aircraft programs.

To increase ready

First speech at the roundtable was devoted to the dilemma of transition from small-scale production to large-scale production of articles made of composite materials. According to the views of the general director of the holding company «PT Himkompozit» Sergei Orel, the basis for such transformation of business should be to create automated production. Start work on the introduction of new technologies to industry leaders Obninsk «Technology» has already been given: in the process of harvesting patterns have given way to hard cutting using laser projectors, mastered speed automatic computation of the prepreg layers. Progress over three decades is impressive. If you develop units for the «Buran» computation was carried out with the rate of 4-7 kg per hour, the most experienced in the development of the Su-47 «Berkut» technologies were used, increasing the rate of 12 kg / hour. Modern level — 16 kg / hour — already achieved now now. A role in the supply of devices for the MC-21 provides for the introduction of technology, providing the doubling rate of calculations layers.

Costly retooling makes new demands on the production volume. The fact that the economic benefit from upgrading can be obtained by increasing the volume of output hardware 25 sets up, and sets up 250 a year production cost decreases monotonously. Unfortunately, even promising programm MS-21 does not allow download absolutely created «Technology» capacity. In this regard, the management holding puzzle accreditation puts production at leading global aircraft manufacturers that will allow the upcoming enter the world market as a supplier of devices 1-2 levels. According to plans, voiced S.Orlom, about 130 aircraft sets per year, the company will be able to export. Another sector in which the use of carbon fiber is very fine and should be — light aircraft. This aircraft and regional airlines and general aviation aircraft mission, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Previously achieved agreement between the State Corporation «Rosteh» Diamond Aerospace and Austrian part in the creation of a family of aircraft of local airlines opens «PT Himkompozit» access to a promising market niche.

Summarizing his own speeches, S.Sokol stressed that for the creation of a competitive composite production need three of mandatory conditions. 1st — diversification of the market: in the interest of companies supply the military-industrial complex and the civilian sector, the high-tech sector, which is not restricted only to the internal market, allows to neutralize the danger of narrow market sectors and provides an opportunity to increase the scale of business. Second condition — sufficient funding, both public and market — allows lure resources for modernization. In the end, the essential condition of success is the availability of personnel and technological base, allocated CEO «PT Himkompozit.»


Challenges of the future


Roundtable participants not only shared conceptions of how to enter the international level and gain a foothold in the market, and identified the challenges facing the industry. For example, Deputy General Director of FSUE VIAM Dmitry Kogan noted that the process of creating a modern design is inextricably linked with the technology of its creation. «At this point in the development of material science material looks at what the design will apply this material, he focuses on the technology that will be selected. And the same thing — the part of the designer. He always makes the design and selection of materials for the technology that will be implemented, «- he singled.


Another principal focus on the views of representatives VIAM is the creation of new generations of polymer composites. At this point on the agenda is the question a day or mental creation of materials that will hold the qualities of self-diagnosis. Integrated into the fiber structure of the material will allow to evaluate the thermal stress state or parts made of composites. This is very topical because modern composites significantly lose strength characteristics in the case of mechanical damage, while diagnostic methods in the field of large structures criteria have not been developed. In the end, opens great prospects implementation of materials capable of changing its shape. For example, using the piezoelectric effect, you can control the curvature of composite wing panels, and will allow it to do without massive drive deflecting wheels and suspension elements of mechanization.


Another problem to which the scientific community at the present time only is risen — recovery of composite materials. Durability of CFRP, the event that it does not corrode, has a downside — being buried, products long years will expect the moment when they will have found a method of processing.

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