Airbus is a division of Airbus Group, a company that designs manufactures and supports some of the best aircraft in the world. Airbus’ comprehensive product line comprises highly-successful families of aircraft ranging from 100 to more than 500 seats: the single-aisle A320 Family (including A320neo, the best-selling aircraft in aviation history); the widebody, long-range A330 Family (including the A330-200 Freighter, plus the recently-launched A330-800neo and -900neo); the new-generation A350 XWB Family; and the flagship A380.
Exova Bridgwater (now owned by Element Materials Technology) worked closely with Airbus in Filton, Gloucestershire, in order to gain group approval to perform Tg testing as part of aerospace production release checks on critical components, known as Category 1. As a result, Exova has become the only independent provider in the UK to achieve Airbus approval for a key composite test.
As the only independent lab to gain the approval from Airbus, Exova Bridgwater is now able to perform tests on composite parts for all manufacturers within the Airbus supply chain.
Exova’s Bridgwater lab is Airbus approved to perform Tg (glass transition temperature testing) using DMA (Dynamic Mechanical Analysis). Tg testing is used for production quality assurance checks as part of the manufacturing process of composite materials. DMA is a method of determining the glass transition temperature of the resin – the temperature at which polymer bonds begin to move against each other – within a composite material. This test dictates the temperature at which the mechanical properties of the composite radically change – a key design requirement which Exova now provides.