SIGMALITE: AIRCRAFT WEIGHT REDUCTION
Sigma is committed to identifying innovative ways to reduce the weight of aircraft components, with the SigmaLite range showcasing the latest R&D and NPI developments through our Technology & Innovation Team.
Components in the range include composite pipes for aero-engine and airframe applications, lightweight fittings and fasteners manufactured using traditional and additive layer manufacturing techniques, machined parts, fabrications and composite drive shafts, all of which offer substantial weight savings compared to conventionally-manufactured components.
The star of the SigmaLite range is COMPipe (hyperlink) – a composite pipe that delivers weight savings of 50% over traditionally-manufactured pipes. COMPipe is capable of withstanding operating temperatures up to 165°C, operating pressures of up to 450 psi, and a typical engine operating environment including fireproof requirements.
The SigmaLite range also includes lightweight end fittings – a variation of Sigma’s successful self-locking nuts – concept designs for metallic end-fittings produced using additive manufacturing techniques, and composite drive shafts.
The range has been developed with support from a number of R&D programmes, including NATEP, CleanSky, Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).
Lightweight Fittings & Fasteners
Lightweight Machined Parts
“Using composite rather than metallic pipes could offer total weight savings of approximately 10kg per engine. The knock-on effect for the rest of the aircraft is likely to magnify that, delivering empty weight savings of 50kg for a twin-jet aircraft.
If that kind of difference can be generated by just one component, it’s not difficult to imagine the potential savings on offer if more composite and lightweight components were to be used.”
Mark Johnson, CEO, Sigma Components