Safran Composites, a new research center dedicated to next-generation aerospace materials
Paris, May 13, 2014
Jean-Paul Herteman, Chairman and CEO of Safran, today inaugurated the new Safran composite materials research center at the Le Bouchet site in Itteville (Essone, greater Paris area), joined notably by Frank Marlin, MP for Essonne and mayor of Etampes, Alexandre Spada, mayor of Itteville, Jacques Mione, mayor of Ballancourt and Laurence Budelot, mayor of Vert le Petit.
Safran is investing some 50 million euros in this new facility, which spans 10,000 square meters. It will ultimately be staffed by 150 recognized specialists in composite materials, including technicians, engineers and doctoral scientists, who will deploy state-of-the-art machinery and equipment for all phases in the development cycle, from research to prototyping.
Organic matrix composites are becoming more strategic than ever for Safran with the development of the new LEAP engine, successor to the best-selling CFM56. Featuring fan blades and cases made using a proprietary 3D woven composite process, LEAP engines will power new-generation single-aisle commercial jets from both Airbus and Boeing starting in 2016.
This dedicated new research center will enable Safran to continue to extend the scope of application and performance of composite materials. Combining light weight with high strength and temperature resistance, advanced composites will help meet the pressing challenge of producing aircraft with reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The new Safran Composites research & technology center will play a triple role in addressing these goals by:
- continuing work already under way on innovative composite technologies, such as 3D weaving;
- exploring new research paths, including higher temperature-resistant resins, within the scope of research partnerships bringing together academia, research labs, specialized small businesses, etc.;
- facilitating the circulation of these technologies across all Safran companies.
"Safran Composites is the tangible result of an industrial strategy anchored in technological innovation, and reflects our strong position within the French business and science communities. By integrating our skills and expertise, we will bolster our technological and competitive leadership in the global marketplace," Jean-Paul Herteman said.
The site at Le Bouchet is already home to facilities for two Group companies: Herakles, which operates an energetic materials research center, and Structil, the Herakles subsidiary specialized in composite materials. The installation of Safran Composites will expand the capabilities of the Le Bouchet site by fostering cross-disciplinary exchanges and synergies with the engineers and technicians already working in the existing facilities.
Safran is a leading international high-technology group with three core businesses: Aerospace (propulsion and equipment), Defence and Security. Operating worldwide, the Group has 66,300 employees and generated sales of 14.7 billion euros in 2013*. Working alone or in partnership, Safran holds world or European leadership positions in its core markets. The Group invests heavily in Research & Development to meet the requirements of changing markets, including expenditures of 1.8 billion Euros in 2013. Safran is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris and is part of the CAC40 index.
* Sales in 2013 restated for the impacts of IFRS11 amounted to 14.4 billion euros.
For more information, www.safran-group.com / Follow @SAFRAN on Twitter
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