SKF unveils Black Design composite innovations
SKF’s Black Design concept is a unique technology that enables lightweight, high performance composite structural parts to be designed and manufactured for a much wider variety of aerospace applications, including structural cleats and products such as hubs and carriers that integrate bearings within the composite part.
Black Design is a disruptive metal-replacement technology that makes a substantial contribution to the industry’s goals of developing lighter weight structures that do not corrode and which are not susceptible to fatigue cracking.
The use of composite materials in the latest generation of commercial aircraft has seen weight reductions approaching 50%. But the use of composite materials in aircraft has reached something of a plateau in terms of the levels of structural performance that can be attained when applying traditional composites design techniques to the vast number of smaller, load-bearing structural interface parts that are to be found in a modern aircraft.
This situation is now poised for change, thanks to SKF Black Design, which is able to combine existing carbon fibre reinforced plastic parts construction methods with innovative design techniques, extending the scope of applications for composite solutions to structural parts that are strongly competitive against current metallic part solutions in terms of mass-versus-cost ratio. Moreover, SKF Black Design can avoid many of the issues that arise when combining metallic and composite elements within a single structural part.