Hofheim/Taunus – Aircraft manufacturers are driven by the need to design the most lightweight and environmentally fuel-efficient aircraft possible and reduce overall manufacturing costs. Responding to this need Victrex Polymer Solutions, a market leader in polyaryletherketones together with PFW Aerospace AG, a world market leader in aerospace tubing systems developed and qualified a novel VICTREX® PEEK polymer-based pipe system for the cargo drainage system on the Airbus A350 XWB. Offering significant weight saving potential due to the use of lightweight, thin wall VICTREX Pipes™, the innovative pipe system is the first alternative to metal tubing introduced to the Aerospace market, an industry benchmark.
“PFW Aerospace has been supplying metal tubing to the Aerospace industry for nearly 100 years. Given the increasing demands of the Aerospace industry to reduce weight we needed to identify alternatives to metal,” said Mr. Rupert Kästel, Vice President Sales and Marketing, PFW Aerospace AG. “We worked closely with Victrex for over 3 years involving them in every stage of the product development phase through to the qualification. Together we have successfully delivered an alternative to metal tubing and a next generation solution for commercial aircraft.”
Used for draining condensed water from the cargo hold, PFW’s cargo drainage system was previously made out of metal tubing and connectors. The new system including pipe and fittings is made of VICTREX PEEK polymer, thus delivering a one material solution. A typical straight 1” PEEK pipe with an outer diameter OD 25.4 mm and 1 mm wall thickness weighs only 100 grams per meter without fittings, offering a weight reduction of up to 60% compared to an equivalent stainless steel straight pipe. Additionally, VICTREX Pipes are not only made of an Aerospace approved polymer, but they are robust, easy to install, have good vibration and dampening properties and offer a high degree of design freedom with ability to be bent and formed.
“Because they are lightweight, durable, exceptionally strong, chemically resistant, and inherently flame retardant, Victrex polymers have been used in the Aerospace industry for years,” said Frank Schemm, European Pipe Market Leader, Victrex Polymer Solutions. “It is exciting for us to now have Victrex formally recognized as a supplier of straight PEEK pipes offering engineers and designers in the aerospace industry another option to achieve weight savings while satisfying the most stringent safety, quality and performance regulations.”
Victrex Polymer Solutions helps customers and end users achieve the greatest possible benefit from the use of its high performance materials to achieve cost effective, reliable solutions for long-life applications of today and in the future. All of this, backed by more than 30 years of experience, makes Victrex the only company in the world that can offer this level of specialized support. As the sole manufacturer and supplier of VICTREX PEEK polymer worldwide with an integrated supply chain and quality management system, security of supply is guaranteed.
For more information about VICTREX Pipes visit www.victrexpipes.com
PFW Aerospace AG is a world market leader for aerospace tubing systems. The overall product portfolio furthermore includes structural components and Cargo Loading Systems as well as additional center tanks and engineering services by a self-owned and EASA-authorized design and engineering subsidiary. The company has its headquarters in Speyer, Germany, and employs a staff of 2200 people worldwide in a considerable number of locations.
For more information visit http://www.pfw.aero.