Institut de Soudure Group, Malaysian government to establish composites and NDT training
The Institut de Soudure Group (IS Groupe, Villepinte, France) has committed to a partnership with MARA, a Malaysian government agency, which aims to establish a composites technical and training center in Malaysia. On March 28, at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition, Sylvain de Lescazes, president of the Institut de Soudure Group, signed a LOI (Letter of Intent) with Dato’ Mohamed Roseli Bin Dol, deputy director-general of MARA, in the presence of Frédéric Laplanche, ambassador or France in Malaysia.
MARA aims to stimulate development of the Malaysian aviation industry by drawing on the skills of Composite Integrity, the composite division of the Institut de Soudure Group. Founded 25 years ago, Composite Integrity is a leader in resin transfer molding (RTM) and epoxy resin-infused aircraft structures with French aerospace companies. Incorporated into the IS Groupe in 2016, it has also worked with STELIA Aerospace (Toulouse, France) to develop the dynamic induction welding technology used in the ARCHES TP thermoplastic composite (TPC) helicopter tailboom/fuselage and with Aviacomp (Launaguet, France) to develop co-consolidation welding technology used in the TPC fuel access doors for the Airbus A350 aircraft.
This collaboration and technical/training center will focus on composite materials and processes for aeronautics and non-destructive testing (NDT) technologies for aeronautical composite parts. The project will in particular make it possible to train students and staff in composite manufacturing technologies so that they can carry out non-destructive testing on new parts and, in the long term, work on the maintenance of aviation parts.
“Malaysia is one of the most promising aviation hubs in the world and a country in which the Institut de Soudure Group aims to develop, notably via its Composite Integrity brand,” says De Lescazes. “On the strength of its expertise, the Group has the legitimacy and the experience to contribute to improving the skills of Malaysians in the composites and aviation sector.”
Yes, advanced forms are in development, but has the technology progressed enough to make the business case?
Compared to legacy materials like steel, aluminum, iron and titanium, composites are still coming of age, and only just now are being better understood by design and manufacturing engineers. However, composites’ physical properties — combined with unbeatable light weight — make them undeniably attractive.
All signs point to increasing demand from many market sectors. Will capacity keep pace?