After intensive negotiations and extensive tests, it is clear: Aircraft manufacturer BOEING from Seattle approves the RAU-FLIGHT material developed internally by REHAU for use in its products. This was recently confirmed by the aircraft manufacturer.
"This is wonderful news, for which we have long been working," says Dr Martin Sonntag, Head of Material Development Chemical Engineering Construction at REHAU. It is thanks to the convincing performance of an interdisciplinary team of around 15 people that the world’s largest aerospace company has now backed the production and material competence of the worldwide polymer specialist.
The efforts to land with BOEING actually go back several years: In 2009 the experts tested the material RAU-FLIGHT for the first time. To date, the material, which is filled with minutely small glass bubbles, is unique on the market. Because of its properties, it is of particular interest for the aviation industry, a sector in which weight and safety as well as cost efficiency are the top priorities (see box). Then the breakthrough came in 2013: Customer AIRBUS used the material as standard in the cabin space of its A350 model, in the form of profiles.
In future, REHAU looks forward to working with BOEING and believes the U.S. manufacturer will benefit from REHAU material, according Thomas Wangler, REHAU Key Account Manager for the Aircraft Industry: "With Airbus, we have succeeded in developing from a supplier of semi-finished products to a qualified material manufacturer and processor." It is hoped that this status will also be achieved with Boeing in the medium term. "At present, there is no other supplier that can offer these high-temperature thermoplastics, which are produced in various processes, as a set with a virtually uniform surface," Wangler continues. With these strengths, after Europe, it is also hoped to develop the American aircraft market. Dr Martin Sonntag also adds: "It has already been demonstrated impressively that the team has the commitment required for this."
RAU-FLIGHT is a high-temperature thermoplastic developed by REHAU which, being filled with tiny glass bubbles, is a good ten percent lighter than conventional thermoplastics and has low flammability. The material achieves a higher energy balance and efficiency and is therefore highly significant for the aviation industry.
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