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PPS composite features in Airbus military plane

Article-PPS composite features in Airbus military plane

The new Airbus A400M features ice protection plates produced from TenCate Cetex glass polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) semipreg. The resin matrix material was supplied by Celanese (Irving, TX).

The new Airbus A400M features ice protection plates produced from TenCate Cetex glass polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) semipreg. The resin matrix material was supplied by Celanese (Irving, TX).

TenCate Advanced Composites (Nijverdal, the Netherlands) supplies this thermoplastic composite material for a wide range of structural and semi-structural aircraft components. Fokker Aerostructures (Hoogeveen, NL) processes the material into finished panels. The panels protect sides of the fuselage alongside the propeller tips from damage caused by chunks of ice which, under certain weather conditions, are flung from the propellers of  the military transport aircraft. 

Polyphenylene sulfide protects military aircraft from ice chunks.
TenCate Cetex semipreg material was selected because it provides excellent impact resistance and also a very good chemical resistance (de-icing and hydraulic / decontamination fluids). It is also used on the fixed wing leading edges of the Airbus A380.

In another military development, TenCate Advanced Armour has been selected by aerospace manufacturer Embraer as the supplier of aerospace armor for the Embraer A-29 Super Tucano military aircraft. The aircraft will be supplied in partnership with Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) as the prime contractor for the aircraft. Common TenCate Advanced Armor solutions include high performance polyethylene, ceramic armor systems, ballistic aramid fabric, fiberglass phenolic panels and small arms protective inserts.

The Embraer EMB 314 - also named A-29 Super Tucano - is a turboprop aircraft designed for light attack, counter-insurgency, close air support, aerial reconnaissance missions in low threat environments, as well as providing pilot training. It is currently in service with the air forces of Angola, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Mauritania. The A-29 has been ordered by Senegal and the United States. In February 2013, the U.S. Air Force announced that it has selected the Embraer Defense and Security´s A-29 Super Tucano for its Light Air Support program.

Steen Tanderup, managing director of TenCate Advanced Armour EMEA states: "Embraer's decision for supplier selection in this major high-end aerospace aircraft confirms that TenCate Advanced Armour has developed into a fully accepted tier 1 aerospace armor company. The EN9100 certified facility of TenCate in France is providing the design, development and production of dedicated high quality aerospace ballistic protection for a number of high-profile helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft projects. This production plant is at the required level and will further evolve in the near future. In this way TenCate will contribute to increase the protection of aircrews and aircraft platforms in hostile environments".

TenCate Advanced Armour as prime contractor for the armor and local partner Aerotron Brazil are working closely together with Embraer in the Joint Development Phase to finalize the design and prototypes of the ballistic protection according to the challenging time schedule, weight and performance requirements for the Super Tucano military aircraft program.

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