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Solvay and Leonardo Launch Joint Research Lab for Thermoplastic Composites

Feb 26,2021

Solvay and Leonardo have announced the launch of a joint research lab dedicated to the development of novel composite materials and production processes critical for the future of the aerospace industry.

The Solvay Leonardo Joint Lab will focus on thermoplastic ¡°engineered materials¡± and in particular on welding and automatic lamination (in-situ consolidation) of complex and large aerospace structures with the goal of maximising product properties, increasing part production efficiency and extending the product life cycle. The focus is on thermoplastic composites as they offer unique benefits to users such as lightweighting for more fuel efficient aircraft and they do not require autoclave for part consolidation thus enabling the development of much more sustainable production lines. Leonardo and Solvay believe that this agreement will be the foundation for further platform collaboration on short and mid-term applications in aerospace and beyond.

¡°This collaboration is in line with the G.R.O.W. strategy of Solvay to strengthen our leadership position as supplier of innovative composite materials for aerospace and other markets,¡± shared Nicolas Cudre-Mauroux, Solvay Chief Technology and Innovation Officer. ¡°We believe that the partnership with Leonardo will boost our ability to develop breakthrough thermoplastic composite solutions and substantially increase their adoption in aerospace, contributing to reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.¡±

Added Roberto Cingolani, Leonardo¡¯s Chief Technology and Innovation Officer: ¡°This collaboration with Solvay is a significant step in research on advanced materials, which are part of the R&D programmers to be developed by the Leonardo Labs. The research area, central to Leonardo, is a key factor of competitiveness, and it will make it possible to improve the performance and safety of our products, to expand its potential, with a direct return on the environmental impact and consumption of resources, boosting a circular and efficient production system.¡±

The Solvay Leonardo Joint Lab will be based at the Leonardo Lab in Grottaglie (Taranto) and at Solvay¡¯s MSAC ¨C Material Science Application Centre in Brussels. In addition, the joint laboratory will have access to both  companies¡¯ internal infrastructures and collaborations with institutions, research centers and universities, in Italy and abroad, with a view to open innovation.

In the process of realizing aircraft lightweight, the development of composite materials is the focus of researchers. Under this background, the 11th Annual Civil Aircraft Industry International Forum 2021 will be held on May 20th - 21st, 2021, in Shenyang, China.

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