Porcher and Airbus design thermoplastic rotor for helicopter

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  • First civil helicopter with composite structure
  • Prepreg material developed from thermoplastic resin
  • Special weaving and high temperature impregnation expertise required

The company Porcher Industries, specialized in textile reinforcements and thermoplastic composites materials, has cooperates with Airbus Helicopters in order to design a thermoplastic rotor for the H160 helicopter.

First civil helicopter with composite structure

The H160 is the first civil helicopter with a composite structure making it an aircraft that is lighter, more robust, and resistant to corrosion and fatigue, and with significantly less maintenance needs. To meet environmental and performance constraints, the two companies have developed a new CFRP (Carbon Fibers Reinforcement Plastics) solution for weight-saving and damage tolerance optimization (versus other metals or composites made of thermoset resin).

Prepreg material developed from thermoplastic resin

After five years of joint work, the new H160 helicopter, with its Spheriflex rotor, was presented at this year’s main international air shows. The high performance prepreg material was developed from a thermoplastic resin, and required special weaving and high temperature impregnation expertise. This project has allowed Airbus Helicopters to master the processing and production of a CFRP composite part.

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