From left: Denis Descheemaeker (Airbus Emerging Technologies), Silvia Lazcano (Airbus Business Development and Partnership) ), Nobel Laureate Professor Konstantin Novoselov, Rafael G. Ripoll (Head of Airbus Commercial Aircraft in Spain). Copyright Airbus by Pablo Cabello.
Airbus is a multinational aeronautics company with a long history of embracing materials innovation. As part of this drive, in May 2017 Airbus hosted a symposium in Madrid designed to showcase the potential aeronautic applications of graphene and related materials.
The properties of graphene have the potential to aid in the aeronautic industry drive to produce safer, cheaper, quieter aircrafts. For instance, the weight to strength ratio of graphene could be used to make lighter aircrafts, meaning lower fuel consumption and lower emissions and costs. This, combined with graphene’s high electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity and flexibility paves the way for many different applications for graphene within the aeronautic sector. Seeing its potential early, Airbus joined the Graphene Flagship from the very beginning.
During the event Rafael González Ripoll, CEO of the Commercial Aircraft Division of Airbus in Spain, emphasised that Airbus has always opted for innovation in composite materials even though the manufacture is often more complex and sophisticated.
During the Airbus Marketplace event eighteen companies presented their graphene based innovations with applications within the aeronautic sector. With many different Graphene Flagship members taking part this was a great opportunity to showcase graphene demonstrators and prototypes.
The day also included a keynote lecture by the 2010 Nobel Prize winner Konstantin Novoselov speaking about graphene in aeronautics applications. Focusing on how graphene could be used in electronics and photonics, composites, coatings and energy applications Prof. Novoselov inspired the audience.
This event showed that the potential for graphene and related materials in the aeronautics industry is clear.