how composite materials were created for the MC-21 – RT liner in Russian

The Russian medium-range airliner MC-21-300 made its first flight with a wing made of Russian composites. As the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov noted, this event proves the correctness of the adopted technical solutions. At the same time, the head of Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, announced a “victory over the sanctions.” The supplies of composites necessary for MS-21 were stopped in the fall of 2018, in connection with which work on import substitution began. According to experts, at that time, the domestic industry had already accumulated competence in the field of composites production, therefore, it was possible to create high-quality analogs in a short time.

The Russian medium-range aircraft of the new generation MC-21-300 made its debut flight with a wing made of domestic polymer composite materials. All systems of the machine worked as usual.

According to the press service of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, the airliner was piloted by test pilots, Heroes of Russia Roman Taskaev and Oleg Kononenko.

According to the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov, the first flight of the MS-21 with a wing made of Russian composites proves the correctness of the engineering decisions taken. The head of the department stressed that the medium-haul liner program “is consistently and steadily moving forward, despite the sanctions and unfair competition.”

“This is the result of the development of the competences of the aviation industry and related industries and unprecedented government support. The total amount of funds allocated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia for the creation of domestic materials for the composite wing amounted to 4.4 billion rubles, “the ministry’s press service quotes Manturov.

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The head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that the technology introduced for the manufacture of the MC-21 wing has a number of advantages. In particular, it allows you to increase productivity, reduce labor costs and costs, and provide the ability to form large parts.

“To date, a composite wing has been manufactured for two aircraft (MS-21. – RT), the third set is being manufactured. We plan to receive changes to the type certificate regarding the composite wing made of Russian materials in the second half of 2022, ”added Manturov.

In turn, the head of Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, said that today the share of composites in the MS-21 structure is about 40%. This figure is a record for the segment of medium-haul liners.

He also explained that the use of durable and lightweight materials made it possible to create a wing with unique aerodynamic characteristics unattainable for a metal counterpart.

“Improved aerodynamics have made it possible to widen the MC-21 fuselage and expand the cabin, which brings new benefits in terms of passenger comfort. This is the first medium-range aircraft in the world where such solutions have been applied, “the press service of Rostec quotes Chemezov.

In a comment to reporters, the head of the state corporation called the flight tests of the new MS-21 wing a major success of the domestic aircraft industry and “a victory over sanctions.” According to him, with the help of restrictive measures “competitors tried to slow down the production of a new modern aircraft MS-21.”

Yuri Slyusar, General Director (UAC), said that all six aircraft in the production process will receive a domestic composite wing. He also added that within the framework of the MS-21 program, the scheme of industrial cooperation has been significantly improved.

“Competence centers have been created within the UAC structure, specializing in the production of individual units. Thus, Aviastar produces fuselage panels and tail unit MS-21, Voronezh VASO – engine pylons and landing gear fairings. “AeroComposite-Ulyanovsk” produces the wing box, “KAPO-Composite” – wing mechanization “, – said Slyusar.

Sanction effect

MS-21-300 / 310 is a civil liner with a capacity of 163 to 211 passengers. One of its key features is the wing made of polymer materials. As experts explained, Russian designers managed to significantly lighten this critical element of the aircraft’s design, while maintaining high standards of strength.

Previously, some of the composites for the wing were purchased abroad, but in the fall of 2018, foreign companies stopped supplying the necessary components. In this situation, the UAC decided not to reduce the share of the latest materials, and the Russian industry was instructed to develop analogues that are not inferior in quality.

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The imposed sanctions and the start of import substitution led to the postponement of the deployment of the MS-21 serial production. It is planned that the mass production of the new generation aircraft will begin in 2022. Sergey Chemezov said this at the end of February in an interview with RT on the sidelines of the IDEX-2021 international defense exhibition in Abu Dhabi.

The institutes of the Academy of Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow State University, the Russian University of Chemical Technology (RCTU) named after V.I. Mendeleev, the Rosatom organization, the All-Russian Research Institute (VIAM), AeroComposite-Ulyanovsk JSC.

According to experts, the creation of the latest polymers has become a great challenge for Russian science and industry. Nevertheless, there was already a certain groundwork in this area, which made it possible to solve the tasks set.

So, before the introduction of sanctions, VIAM did not manufacture composites directly for the MS-21 structures. The company participated in the project of the domestic PD-14 engine for this aircraft. Thanks to the use of the so-called additive technologies, the institute was able to achieve serious success in the manufacture of components from composite materials.

“For the first time in domestic engineering and technological practice, a PD-14 engine nacelle was designed and manufactured from domestic polymer composite materials, which ensured a reduction in the weight of the structure while maintaining the required elastic and strength properties,” the VIAM website says.

Using the method of additive technologies from a domestic metal-powder composition, the team of the institute made a swirler for the front-line combustion chamber device. This part acts as an air flow regulator. In total, taking into account alloys for PD-14, VIAM has developed 20 new materials.

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For the MS-21 wing, the institute’s specialists created an analogue of the fibers that were supplied from the United States. Before that, Russia did not have technologies for the production of materials with the required characteristics.

As the honored military pilot, deputy editor-in-chief of the Aviapanorama magazine Vladimir Popov explained, the design of the MS-21 was originally supposed to use foreign components and materials, although not as wide as in the SSJ-100.

“When designing the MS-21, there was objectively not everything, there were problems with the production of the required composites. The US sanctions were unpleasant. Nevertheless, by 2019, our industry had tightened up and, on the whole, was ready to replace American technologies and materials. It took two years, but I believe that sooner or later we would still face sanctions and carry out this work, “Popov emphasized in an interview with RT.

“Fast and economical”

A significant role in the creation of new composites was played by the R.KhTU im. DI. Mendeleev. As the dean of the Faculty of Petroleum Chemistry and Polymeric Materials of this university, Igor Sirotin, said earlier, the team of scientists was forced to solve complex problems on the MS-21 project.

First, experts created a safe material for the aircraft cabin, which was devoid of the traditional disadvantages of almost all polymers – flammability and release of a large amount of toxic substances and smoke upon contact with a flame.

Then the scientists of the RCTU developed a technology for obtaining the main component of aviation composites – benzoxazine monomers. A feature of the invention is the use of a catalyst that accelerates the process of polymerization of monomers and reduces the combustibility of the composites obtained from them.

According to Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the technology will make it possible to localize in Russia the main stages of production of key elements of the MS-21, including the wing.

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“Our technology also includes the production of benzoxazine monomers themselves and many other subtleties that we are not ready to disclose, since this is know-how. But the main thing is that as a result we have achieved a very good result: in eight hours a full cycle of obtaining benzoxazine monomers is realized, and now we are able to quickly and economically convert them into a polymer, ”the publication cites Sirotin’s commentary.

According to Vladimir Popov, the flight of the MS-21 with a domestic composite wing and the completion of work on the PD-14 de facto means the removal of all restrictions on the deployment of serial production of the new Russian airliner.

“As far as I understand, the stage of certification of the MC-21 with a new wing is now ahead, but I think it will be completed quickly and safely, and then serial production with the PD-14 will already begin. I am also confident that the new materials and production technologies that appeared after the US sanctions will certainly find application in other projects of the Russian aviation industry, ”Popov says.

Oleg Panteleev, executive director of the Aviaport agency, expressed a similar point of view in the RT commentary. In his opinion, Russian engineers have carried out a colossal amount of work, the results of which will have a positive effect on the aviation industry of the Russian Federation.

“The development of analogs to imported materials was carried out in a tight time frame by the standards of world materials science. It helped that in the portfolio of Russian scientists there were developments in composites with improved characteristics. The most important achievement was the development of serial production of new generation domestic aviation materials, ”Panteleev emphasized.

Source: RT на русском by

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