April 8, 2013

New carbon fabric can save airlines millions in fuel cost

A unique carbon fabric from Sweden, TeXtreme, could substantially reduce weight of existing aircraft and thereby enable significant savings in fuel costs for the airlines while contributing to a greener world. A conservative replacement of current traditional materials with TeXtreme carbon fiber fabrics, for example-in composite panels in aircraft, could lower the weight of aircraft to the extent that potential fuel cost savings could be in excess of €43m per annum for 20 major airlines. The reduction of CO2 emissions, resulting from weight savings of this magnitude, is enormous – equaling about 1 million laps around the world counted in flight miles. TeXtreme is a novel carbon fabric produced by using spread tows instead of using yarns as has been conventionally done in textile reinforcements for thousands of years. Unlike the conventional textile reinforcements, TeXtreme enables weight savings which no other type of composite reinforcement can match, let alone metals. Andreas Martsman, Vice President – Marketing & Sales of Oxeon, says: “This is a case where an investment from airlines in TeXtreme would actually make them save money and not least save the environment. If all the airlines and their manufacturers would do this, the potential fuel savings and effect on CO2 emission is enormous. To save millions in fuel costs and at the same time contribute to a greener and more sustainable world should be in everyone’s interest.” Carbon fiber and other composite reinforcements are already being used in the aerospace industry and a wide range of other markets where a need to reduce component weight is required. A composite is a combination of materials, for example textile reinforcement embedded in plastics. Carbon fiber is one of the best reinforcements available for producing lightweight products with good mechanical properties on stiffness and strength available.

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