Solvay, a supplier of advanced aerospace materials, and the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University officially opened a joint Manufacturing Innovation Center dedicated to enabling the future of flight thanks to advances in composite technologies. The center is located within NIAR’s Advanced Technology Laboratory for Aerospace Systems (ATLAS) in Wichita, KS.
At the Manufacturing Innovation Center, the country’s major aerospace companies will have access to 150,000 square feet of development, testing and prototyping facilities in accordance with International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), as well as the latest advanced research on aeronautical materials.
Companies will be able to manufacture entire aircraft structures, such as wings and fuselages, at a fraction of the manufacturing cost themselves. Using automated, high-throughput processing with smart, agile manufacturing technologies, Solvay and NIAR engineers will work hand-in-hand with customers to test innovative ideas and structures in real time. These capabilities are helping to increase the adoption of composites and enable airlines to achieve increased performance and efficiency goals.
“Our partnership with NIAR through this joint Manufacturing Innovation Center is an important step in Solvay’s ambition to help key customers across the United States advance the future of aerospace and defence,” said Carmelo Lo Faro, president of Solvay’s Materials segment. “Here we can explore the benefits of new forms of composite materials with the latest manufacturing technologies to create a lighter, safer and more durable aircraft of the future.”
“ATLAS is the future of aircraft manufacturing, and we’re proud to provide a proving ground for some of the world’s most advanced aerospace technologies and companies,” said John Tomblin, WSU senior vice president for Industry and Defense Programs and Executive Director of NIAR. “Having Solvay’s material expertise on site is a major asset for companies looking to explore what is possible for future aircraft.
Solvay said its strategic involvement with NIAR demonstrates how its advanced materials innovation can help customers in the United States reduce the time and cost to test new applications. Solvay engineers will work with customers in the aerospace, defense, space and advanced air mobility markets.