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The partnership between Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research and Solvay charts a path for advances in composite technologies in aviation.

October 6, 2022

2 Min Read
Manufacturing Innovation Center
Image courtesy of Solvay

Solvay, a supplier of advanced materials for aerospace, and Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) have officially opened a joint Manufacturing Innovation Center dedicated to enabling the future of flight through advances in composite technologies. The center is located within NIAR’s Advanced Technologies Lab for Aerospace Systems (ATLAS) in Wichita, KS.

At the Manufacturing Innovation Center, the country’s leading aviation companies will have access to 150,000 square feet of development, testing, and prototyping facilities in compliance with International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) as well as the latest in advanced aviation material research.

Companies will be able to fabricate entire aircraft structures, such as wings and fuselages, at a fraction of the cost of making it themselves. Using automated and high-rate processing with smart and agile manufacturing technologies, Solvay and NIAR engineers will work hand-in-hand with customers to test ideas and innovative structures in real time. These capabilities help to increase the adoption of composites and allow aviation companies to meet increased performance and efficiency targets.

“Our partnership with NIAR through this joint Manufacturing Innovation Center is an important milestone in Solvay’s ambition to help key customers across the United States advance the future of aerospace and defense,” said Carmelo Lo Faro, President of Solvay’s Materials Segment. “Here, we can explore the advantages of new composite material forms with the latest manufacturing technologies to create a lighter, safer and more sustainable aircraft of the future.”

“ATLAS is the future of aviation manufacturing, and we’re proud to provide a proving ground for some of the world’s most advanced aviation technologies and companies,” said John Tomblin, WSU Senior Vice President for Industry & Defense Programs and NIAR Executive Director. “Having Solvay’s material expertise on site is a major asset for companies looking to explore what’s possible for future aircraft.”

Solvay said its strategic involvement with NIAR demonstrates how its advanced material innovation can help customers in the United States reduce time and costs to test new applications. Solvay engineers will work with customers across the aerospace, defense, space, and advanced air mobility markets.

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