As demand for air travel and satellite communications rises at ultrasonic speed, new opportunities and challenges are opening up. But how are businesses responding?
Lift-off for lightweight planes and electric engines
Rising awareness of the environmental impact of air travel is accelerating this transformation in the way aircraft and spacecraft are made. Companies that build planes and satellites are exploring sustainable technologies with the potential to decrease noise and reduce the environmental footprint of the aerospace industry.
3D printing – exploring a new dimension
3D-printed aircraft and spacecraft may sound futuristic, but the aerospace industry is already exploring the potential use of additive manufacturing to produce some parts and components of planes and satellites. This could make it possible to produce simplified designs faster and contribute to sustainability by cutting waste.
3D printing could be a game-changer in helping companies meet rising demand by accelerating production times, while also increasing safety because 3D-printed components are often more durable.
Staying in the air thanks to maintenance and repair
Of course, producing reliable components for an aircraft or spacecraft is only the first step. Planes or satellites are expected to stay in operation for up to 40 years and need to be resistant against wear and tear even when they face extreme conditions. For example, the temperature in space can change from -170 to more than +120 degrees Celsius within a very short time.
For this reason, materials used in aircraft and spacecraft must meet strict expectations for quality and safety – and it’s extremely important to maintain and repair these vehicles effectively. From the body or wings through to the engine and components, a massive range of adhesives, lubricants and cleaning solutions are used to make sure planes perform reliably, while also repairing any damage and ensuring compliance with local and international regulations.
Henkel is always on-board
The future of the aerospace industry will be shaped by innovations like electric engines, self-steering flying taxis and 3D printing. At the same time, it will also be shaped by the way businesses respond to these trends and adapt to meet rising demand for air travel and satellite communications. Part of this response is already happening now, with companies and organizations along the entire value chain exploring breakthrough technologies and expanding their capacities.
At Henkel, our solutions are already used in more than 1,500 aircraft specifications worldwide. Our adhesives are used to join parts of the aircraft body together and our innovative materials are hidden in the engines and interiors, while our coatings, surface treatments, maintenance products are found in cockpit controls, in-flight entertainment, guidance systems and sensors. Whatever the future holds for the aerospace industry, Henkel will be on-board – helping to make your flight smoother, safer and more sustainable.