Solvay, Strata joint venture to supply Boeing with composite materials
Solvay Composite Materials (Brussels) and Strata (Dubai) have formalized their Joint Venture (JV) to supply Boeing with advanced composite materials from a high-tech facility to be built in Al Ain. Following the signature of the JV agreement, the parties will seek anti-trust approvals.
The equal ownership joint venture will be the UAE’s first supplier of pre-impregnated carbon fibers.
The partnership marks Solvay’s entry into advanced materials manufacturing in the UAE, and Mubadala’s entry into advanced materials manufacturing for the aerospace industry through its wholly owned business, Strata Manufacturing.
“Over the last ten years, Mubadala has helped to create an advanced and sustainable aerospace industry in line with Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification vision,” said Khaled Abdulla Al Qubaisi, CEO Aerospace, Renewables and ICT, Mubadala. “This agreement with Solvay fits perfectly with our growth strategy, focusing as it does on high-tech manufacturing capabilities, and demonstrates our commitment to providing competitive offerings to the world’s leading OEMs.”
“This joint venture showcases Solvay’s capabilities in advanced aerospace composite technologies, including for aircraft primary structures as a growth pillar for our materials business,” said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay.
The new approximately 8,500 square meter facility will supply Boeing with carbon fiber prepreg for primary structure applications in its new 777X program. Solvay’s prepreg technology consists of fiber reinforcements pre-impregnated with a resin matrix to manufacture composite parts, providing exceptional performance at lower weight compared to metal structures.
The structural properties of composite materials are derived primarily from the fiber reinforcement. Fiber types, their manufacture, their uses and the end-market applications in which they find most use are described.
The matrix binds the fiber reinforcement, gives the composite component its shape and determines its surface quality. A composite matrix may be a polymer, ceramic, metal or carbon. Here’s a guide to selection.
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.