Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany) reported on Dec. 7 that its ROHACELL PMI (polymethacrylimide) rigid foam is being used on the rear pressure bulkhead prototype of Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China's (COMAC) first large commercial airliner, C919. It is the first time in China that a commercial aircraft applies composite material to its primary load-carrying structure.
The rear pressure bulkhead prototype is the first large-sized composite part completed in C919, of which structure ROHACELL is used in the stringers to enhance the stiffness and buckling properties of the part. The production of this prototype was finished within 5 months after the design CAD files were released, and the fast delivery of a high-quality ready-to-use ROHACELL shape from Evonik ensured its realization. The successful roll-out of the rear pressure bulkhead prototype in mid-October has further validated the engineering design and manufacturing process; it also guarantees the smooth development process of other composite parts on the aircraft.
“Evonik endeavors to contribute to the development of the Chinese aircraft industry with our innovative materials and expertise,” stated Siamak Djafarian, general manager of Evonik High Performance Polymers Business Line in Asia Pacific. “ROHACELL has already been successfully used in the winglet and flap vane of ARJ21-700, the Chinese own-designed regional passenger jet. With this new development on C919, we see our cooperation with the Chinese aerospace industry going on.”
The C919 prototype was unveiled officially on Nov. 16 at the Airshow China 2010 in Zhuhai. COMAC has announced a launch order of up to 100, and expects a demand for 2,000 C919 narrowbody in the domestic and overseas markets. Upon certification from regulators, the C919 is scheduled to enter commercial service in 2016.