Truly sophisticated rags and glue
Volvo Aero applies a technology involving so-called dry reinforcements. Carbon-fibre mats are packed together in a specific direction to customize the desired degrees of strength and stiffness. Finally, liquid plastic is injected and the entire structure is hardened at a high temperature.
Synergies with the automotive industry
Performance requirements are of course far more rigorous in an aircraft than in a bus or truck. But with the ability and technology to produce lightweight components comes the ability to use these skills to improve vehicle characteristics.
The drivers for lighter components in vehicles are the same as in the aircraft industry: climate threat and increasingly expensive metals. Long-term synergies are expected in, for example, engine components, wheel suspensions, transmissions and members.
Several collaboration programs
Volvo Aero works together with companies and public authorities to develop technologies, both in Swedish national programs and EU-funded programs.
One example is Clean Sky, which is one of Europe's largest research programs of all time in the aerospace field. Volvo Aero has a vital role in the sub projects regarding open-rotor engines, which could reduce fuel consumption by 15 to 20%.