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GKN focusing on tech innovation at Paris Air Show

At the Paris Air Show this month GKN Aerospace will focus on the expanding technological capabilities that are driving company growth.

With the integration of its new Engine Systems operation (formerly Volvo Aero) now well underway, the company has become one of the leading three engine component suppliers to the international aerospace industry and adds this to established market positions among the global top three suppliers of aerostructures, transparencies and fuel and flotation systems.

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GKN Aerospace supplies both metallic and composite structure and believes the recent pace of innovation in metallics will help establish a long term balance of metal and composite content on the airframe. The company is making a key contribution to this surge in metallics innovation, exploring technologies it has identified as offering greatest potential. These include a variety of additive manufacturing (AM) processes. AM has the potential to transform metal manufacture, dramatically lowering critical ‘buy to fly’ costs by producing complex near-net-shape geometries with little material waste and at little cost in energy and carbon emissions.

GKN Aerospace engineers are also progressing two advanced metal welding processes. Friction stir welding will replace bolted or riveted metallic joints with large panels lowering airframe weight and reducing assembly complexity, whilst linear friction welding (LFW) will produce near net shape engineered blanks, lowering material waste and costly manufacturing time.

Within GKN Aerospace’s advanced composites activity, the company is working on improving every step of the manufacturing process from high rate automated deposition through to alternative curing and joining methods, rapid NDT, surface protection and coatings and automated laser repair of damaged structure.

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In its transparencies business, the company’s development activities are focused on the demand for effective dimmable cabin management technology, including full cabin blackout. The company aims to offer a development of its CrystalVue II™ passenger window - which is the window of choice for aircraft manufacturers and airlines worldwide, with over 2.5 million in service today.

Marcus Bryson (right), CEO, GKN Aerospace and Land Systems, said: “GKN Aerospace offers a powerful combination of world class engineering processes and people, and clear differentiating technologies and this drives our growth. We aim to identify and anticipate trends in products, processes and materials, and to understand and evolve those emerging technologies that will bring maximum value to our customers and their current and future airframe and aero-engine programmes.”

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