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INEGI joins Airbus and portuguese consortium to innovate in the manufacture of composites for the aeronautical sector

30 June 2021
It is called «Gavião» and is the new national co-promotion project that brings together INEGI and Airbus Defense & Space, and the Portuguese companies ISQ, OPTIMAL and Stratosphere. It is named after a falcon, to symbolize the significant impact it will have on the aeronautical sector, through the development of new technologies for the manufacture of large-scale aeronautical structures in composite materials.

The objective is to increase the cadence and efficiency of the production of large, light aircraft with a high level of component integration, but also to contribute to reducing consumption and CO2 emissions in the aeronautical sector.

As Ricardo Rocha, responsible for the project at INEGI explains, "the manufacturing processes currently used do not allow large builders, such as Airbus, to respond quickly to orders, so it is essential to implement new manufacturing technologies, outside the autoclave".

Creating these innovative manufacturing processes is the task of INEGI, which will also develop the necessary tools to support them. In addition to contributing to a "considerable reduction in production cycle times and in investment in molds and tools", these processes will also be "more efficient and sustainable", adds Ricardo Rocha.

In line with the objective of increasing efficiency and reducing resource consumption, the Institute will also create virtual testing tools of composite components, to enable virtual tests to the detriment of physical tests. Finally, INEGI specialists will support the production, using the developed manufacturing processes, of a full-scale demonstrator of a fuselage section of the Airbus C295.

The project follows on from the work developed under the PASSARO project, coordinated by INEGI, integrated in the AIRFRAME-ITD of the Clean Sky 2 Program, and represents another step on the path aimed at replacing metallic components by composite components in aeronautical structures.

This work is being developed as part of a co-promotion, co-financed by the Portugal 2020 programme.

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