Carbon fiber manufacturer DowAksa Ileri Kompozit Malzemeler Ltd. Sti (Istanbul, Turkey) officially opened on May 13 the DowAksa Global Composites Center, in Yalova, Turkey. The facility is designed to advance Turkey’s carbon fiber and other fiber reinforcement composites manufacturing, mainly for aerospace applications in defense and commercial aviation, also targeting the infrastructure, marine, wind energy and transportation sectors. DowAksa is a 50/50 joint venture between The Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, MI, US) and Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii A.Ş. (Istanbul)
The new Global Composites Center is partially funded by SSM (the Turkish Defense Industry) under the IPEK Project, which aims to develop innovative carbon fiber and other fiber reinforcement-based prepreg materials that will be domestically produced for military and commercial aircraft. As a result of the project, DowAksa will offer Turkish innovations in prepreg materials and process technology to domestic and global aerospace customers.
Turkey's Undersecretary for Defense Industries, Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir, helped open the 2,600-m2 facility and was joined by TAI Deputy general manager Naki Polat, DowAksa deputy chairman Mehmet Ali Berkman and DowAksa CEO Douglas Parks. After the ceremony, dignitaries and other distinguished guests from government, industry and universities took a tour of the new facilities’ laboratories and manufacturing equipment, including fiber weaving and multiaxial prepreg machines.
Polat says, "We are opening the first facility that we will use to supply a raw material by our own means. The usage of this material in both defense and aviation is now above 50%. Right now, composite usage in the new-generation Boeing 787 and A350 is above 50%. Composites have become essential both in military and civilian aircraft. Their usage is also on the rise in sectors outside defense and industry. The center being opened today will create big opportunities for our country and our defense and aviation industries."
In 2014, SSM initiated IPEK Project, a three-year initiative to manufacture the first domestic carbon fiber and glass fiber-based prepreg materials. The final project deliverables are due to SSM in early 2017.
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The project’s goal is to reduce product development and certification timelines by 30 percent for composite aircraft.