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Salt Lake City – Exelis has licensed patented manufacturing technology from Belgium-based Bodair S.A. to produce composite struts, tubes and rods (STaR) for commercial and military aircraft applications.
Exelis will use the new technology to produce a variety of composite hardware components, including floor beam and wing box struts, control rods and torque tubes.
The technology allows for rapid development and reconfiguration of product design and offers the capability to produce monolithic carbon fiber struts or integrate metallic fittings during the automated manufacturing process. As a result, the STaR products are lower weight while achieving the same strength requirements compared with other composite production methods. In addition, the composite hardware provides much higher strength-to-weight ratio vs. traditional metallic parts.
"The newly acquired technology provides Exelis with a competitive advantage as the aerospace industry continues to expand the use of composites looking for new opportunities to reduce the weight of aircraft," said Mike Blair, vice president and general manager of Exelis Aerostructures.”