DuPont High-Performance Materials Enable World's Largest-Ever Commercial Aircraft in Inaugural Voyages to United States
New Airbus A380 Relies on DuPont Innovations for Strength, Light Weight
The world's largest commercial jetliner made its inaugural visit to the United States today, relying on a host of DuPont lightweight, high-performance materials to lift the first-ever, full-length twin-deck aircraft. The innovative materials include DuPont™ Kevlar® and Nomex® aramid fibers, Vespel® high-performance materials, Tefzel® fluoropolymer resin, Oasis® composite wire insulation, and Tedlar® PVF film.
Today, an Airbus A380 operated by Lufthansa landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City at the same time a Qantas Airways Airbus A380 landed at Los Angeles International Airport. The "superjumbo" aircraft has four engines and a flight range of up to 15,000 kilometers – enabling it to fly nonstop between Europe and Asia.
"DuPont innovations have helped Airbus' concept of the world's largest aircraft to become a reality," said Jim Weigand, global business director – DuPont Advanced Fiber Systems. "Since the infancy of aviation, DuPont has been delivering unique materials essential for lighter weight, reduced volume, durability, energy efficiency and environmental resistance. Our work with Airbus is another example where DuPont science and technology provides unique solutions to the aerospace industry and the broader marketplace."
DuPont advanced fibers, electronic components and composites are assisting Airbus to meet demanding strength and weight requirements, as well as stringent safety standards. The A380 and the aeronautics industry require products with a complex combination of properties: strength and durability, lightweight, resistance to harsh environments, and ease of use in manufacturing. Safety considerations, such as flame resistance, also are important to the industry.
The new Airbus A380 includes a new honeycomb composite made from DuPont™ Kevlar® which is found from its flooring to interior walls to wing flaps. Pound for pound, Kevlar® is five times stronger than steel. As a honeycomb core, this strength allows the Kevlar® to dramatically increase the structural integrity of the aircraft, while enabling a substantial weight savings.
The A380 uses engine parts made with high-strength, lightweight Vespel®, which reduces weight in the A380 by replacing heavier components made from metallic alloys and by reducing friction to allow for lower-weight actuators. Virtually every jet engine made in the Western world uses Vespel® parts.
DuPont™ Nomex® is among the materials that enhance the safety of A380. Marking its 40th anniversary this year, Nomex® – the same fiber that helps protect firefighters – is inherently flame-resistant. In fiber and paper form, it is used in the aircraft's flooring, wallcovers, structural parts, electrical cable conduits, wall fabrics and tapestries, carpeting, and fire-blocking seat liners.
DuPont helps the commercial, private, and military aerospace industry fly farther, faster, safer, and more efficiently. A broad range of DuPont materials is available for aircraft and parts manufacturers as well as aircraft owners and operators throughout the industry. Advanced fibers, electronic components and composites – help aircraft and parts manufacturers meet demanding strength and weight requirements as well as stringent safety standards for the aeronautics industry. For example, a typical large commercial jet may contain up to 140 miles of wire and cable insulated with Tefzel® fluoropolymer resin and Oasis® composite wire insulation; lightweight floors, walls and ceilings cored with Kevlar® and Nomex® high-performance materials; interior walls protected with Tedlar® PVF film; and improved efficiency engines with Vespel® parts.
DuPont – one of the first companies to publicly establish environmental goals 16 years ago – has broadened its sustainability commitments beyond internal footprint reduction to include market-driven targets for both revenue and research and development investment like Kevlar®, Nomex® and Vespel®. The goals are tied directly to business growth, specifically to the development of safer and environmentally improved new products for key global markets, including products that increase energy efficiency, such as weight reduction applications of Kevlar® and Nomex®.
DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries and regions, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.
# # #
The DuPont Oval, DuPont™, The miracles of science™, and Kevlar®, Nomex®, Vespel®, Tefzel®, Oasis® and Tedlar® are registered trademarks or trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.