AviationBoosted by increases in passenger and cargo movements, the commercial aviation market continued to grow in 2015. The Surface Solutions Segment delivers technologies for airplane components such as engine pylons, turbine blades and landing gear systems and generated 12 % of its 2015 sales from this sector.
Backlogs at Airbus and Boeing reportedly represent eight years of future production. Coupled with China’s recent entry as a large airplane manufacturer, this market is expected to grow over 4 % in 2016. Oerlikon’s targeted market size in this sector is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 5.1 % from 2015 to 2018.
New and improved technologies are going to be even more important in the design and production of next-generation aircrafts. In particular, future airplanes will need lighter yet durable materials, have engines that run efficiently at even higher temperatures, be fuel efficient, have lower carbon footprints and generate higher ROI to airlines. Innovative surface treatments will play a key role here. For instance, the Surface Solutions Segment developed in 2015 a new erosion protection coating to reduce solid particle erosion in aircraft compressor blades, thereby improving efficiency in that critical jet engine part. BALINIT DIAMOND, another product from the Segment, enables cutting tools to be extremely wear-resistant, sharp and smooth as required for the processing of carbon-fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) that are increasingly used in aviation. The Segment’s additive manufacturing (AM) offering is also another area with promising applications in this sector. The Manmade Fibers Segment also delivers production systems that make the fibers used in aircraft carpets and upholstery.