A new joint venture formed by Mubadala Development Company and Solvay will be supplying Boeing with carbon fibre pre-impregnated (prepreg) composite material for the Boeing 777X, which will go into production in 2017.
The Mubadala-Solvay joint venture, to be operational by 2021 in a new facility built in Al Ain, U.A.E., will produce primary structure composite material for use in manufacturing the 777X empennage and floor beams.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner said Boeing is the first customer for the Mubadala-Solvay JV.
“After close collaboration with Mubadala and Solvay to expand the supply of aerospace composites, Boeing is pleased to be the first customer for their new joint venture in the U.A.E.,” Mr Conner said.
“Our commitment to purchase this prepreg material for the 777X meets several important goals for Boeing, from further advancing aerospace industry development in the U.A.E. to expanding high-quality materials in our supply chain.”
Prepreg composites – a combination of high-strength carbon fibre and toughened epoxy resin – were first introduced in the 1970s. They reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency in aircraft. Boeing’s 777 was the first commercial airplane to contain structurally significant composite parts, which account for 50% of the 787 Dreamliner’s structural weight. In addition, the 777X, scheduled for delivery in 2020, will have the world’s largest composite wing.
Boeing’s collaboration with Mubadala started in 2009 and resulted in the signing of several agreements to advance their partnership in mutually beneficial ways, including in aerospace composites manufacturing.
Three years ago, the two companies announced a new Framework Strategic Agreement to increase the long-term role of Mubadala as a direct supplier to Boeing, including support as Mubadala developed prepreg manufacturing in the U.A.E.
“Boeing has been a key global partner of ours for years. Together with Solvay, we will further develop our capabilities in advanced composite materials production in order to expand the supply chain and create a materials ecosystem,” said Homaid Al Shimmari, CEO of Aerospace & Engineering Services, Mubadala.
“The creation of a new manufacturing facility at the Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park supports our efforts of delivering on Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030 by developing a regional Aerospace Hub for Abu Dhabi.”
Solvay has been a valued supplier to Boeing for over 30 years, providing composite materials and adhesives in support of all Boeing Commercial Airplanes programs.