Premium Aerotec presents thermoplastic CFRP bulkhead

Premium Aerotec’s demonstrator for an A320 pressure bulkhead in CFRP with a thermoplastic matrix. Source | Premium Aerotec

The aerostructures supplier Premium Aerotec (Augsburg, Germany) has developed and manufactured a major component in the Airbus A320’s primary structure in carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP)  with a thermoplastic matrix. The full-scale and close-to-production demonstrator for the pressure bulkhead of the A320 Family was developed and produced by the company in around four months and was presented at the ILA airshow in Berlin, Germany in April.

With this innovation, Premium Aerotec expands the application spectrum for CFRP with a thermoplastic matrix in the aircraft fuselage, far beyond its current usage in small parts. In cooperation with partners, the company is now proving its ability to develop and manufacture large aircraft components made out of CFRP with a thermoplastic matrix.

The pressure bulkhead demonstrator consists of eight segments of equal size connected to each other using state-of-the-art welding technology. The weldability of thermoplastics constitutes an advantage of this material. Premium Aerotec uses this property as a substitute for traditional riveting, which saves on time and costs. The entire development and design was executed by Premium Aerotec, and manufacturing of the individual components was done in cooperation with the Institute for Composite Materials (IVW, Kaiserslautern, Germany). Premium Aerotec developed a technical solution for welding warped components in cooperation with the DLR Centre for Lightweight Construction Production Engineering (Augsburg, Germany).

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