Prepregs from RUSNANO’s Project Company to be Used in Russian Aircraft Construction
The International Aviation and Space Salon МАКS 2011 was the backdrop for signing an agreement among RUSNANO, United Aircraft Corporation, Holding Company Composite, and All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Aviation Materials (VIAM). Chief executives of the organizations—RUSNANO CEO Anatoly Chubais, UAC President Mikhail Pogosyan, Composite CEO Leonid Melamed, and VIAM Director General Evgeny Kablov—were on hand for signing ceremonies.
The agreement will introduce polymer composite materials to UAC’s promising civil and military aircraft lines. The polymer composite materials are manufactured using carbon fibers in a process that was developed by Russian engineers. Parties to the accord will develop the scientific and commercial potential of polymer composites in the field of civil and military aircraft and promote high-tech products in domestic market and markets abroad.
The four-party agreement contains a plan for forming clusters in Russia where innovative materials for aircraft construction can be created and a market for competitive domestic polymer materials based on carbon fiber can be developed.
Modern carbon-fiber composite materials are ideally suited to aircraft construction. They reduce the weight of the airplane’s frame and improve the durability and aerodynamics of the craft. These advantages will do much to increase the competitiveness of Russian-built airplanes in international markets. Today the share of composite materials in promising civil airliners is around 30 percent to 50 percent.
RUSNANO and Holding Company Composite founded innovative company Prepreg-SKM to produce high-quality prepregs of carbon and mineral fibers with improved durability characteristics.
The All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Aviation Materials developed a new generation of aviation prepreg material. The product, thanks to its durability and light weight, surpasses existing analogues in the market. The material’s endurance is 1.5 times greater than materials it will be replacing. Prepreg-SKM has begun commercial production of the material. In June 2011 the company was awarded a certificate from Russia’s International Aviation Committee authorizing it to produce the aircraft materials and attesting to the company’s compliance with high aviation industry standards. That certificate will simplify entry of carbon prepregs into production of civil and military aircraft.
Market analysts forecast that demand for composite materials in various industrial sectors will increase fourfold over the next decade. Such growth would outstrip the production capacity of current manufacturers. Establishing production of new composite materials in Russia under RUSNANO’s sponsorship would help replace imports in many sectors of the economy and further the growth in export potential of Russian high-tech products.
RUSNANO’s portfolio currently includes 24 projects that produce or will produce goods with applications in the aviation and space industry. Aggregate budgets of these projects total 63.1 billion rubles of which RUSNANO will co-invest 27.6 billion rubles. Financing is underway from RUSNANO in 16 of the projects; 13 are already earning sales revenue. At the beginning of June 2011 four projects were launched and by the end of this year, six more should get their starts.
A prepreg (pre-impregnated material) is a semi-finished composite material produced by saturating a reinforced fibrous base with a uniformly distributed binder. Impregnation is carried out in such a way as to maintain maximally the physical and mechanical properties of the reinforcing material. Prepreg technology makes it possible to obtain monolithic articles of complex forms with minimal tooling.
Holding Company Composite was established in 2009 with the goal of forming a market from composite materials in Russia. The company’s subsidiaries include businesses producing highly durable and highly modularized carbon fibers and fabric based on them. They produce high-quality prepregs used in the aviation industry, wind energy generation, construction, and automobile and ship building industries. Leonid Melamed is CEO of Holding Company Composite.
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RUSNANO was founded in March 2011 as an open joint stock company through reorganization of state corporation Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. RUSNANO's mission is to develop the Russian nanotechnology industry through co-investment in nanotechnology projects with substantial economic potential or social benefit. The Government of the Russian Federation owns 100 percent of the shares in RUSNANO. Anatoly Chubais is CEO and chairman of the Executive Board of RUSNANO.
Work to establish nanotechnology infrastructure and training for nanotechnology specialists, formerly conducted by the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies, has been entrusted to the Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, a non-commercial fund also established through reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.
United Aircraft Corporation was established by decree №140 of the president of the Russian Federation On Open Joint Stock Company United Aircraft Corporation dated February 20, 2006. The corporation was registered as a legal entity on February 20, 2006. The Russian Federation contributed shares of state-owned aviation enterprises to the charter capital of the new company (as provided in appendix 1 to the decree №140 of the president of the Russian Federation dated February 20, 2006) as did private shareholder Corporation Irkut. UAK and its member companies work in design, manufacturing, sales, maintenance, guaranteed and after-sale servicing, modernization, repair and disposition of civil and military aircraft.
All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Aviation Materials (VIAM) is Russia’s largest state-owned materials science enterprise. The institute has been engaged in developing materials for the aerospace industry for 79 years. VIAM fills orders for development and supply of a wide range of metal materials, coatings,technological processes and equipment, anticorrosion methods, and quality control of feedstock and semifinished goods and related items.