When the Pennsylvania-based parts manufacturing company Leading Edge Composites, Inc. enters a new construction project, their choice of composite material often falls at Diab’s Divinycell. Available in a wide range of varieties Divinycell can meet most demand.
Helicopter manufacturers have long recognized the benefits of composites in aircraft components. In today's military rotorcraft, composites regularly constitute 50 to 80 percent of the airframe by weight. In helicopters built for the civil aviation sector, composite application varies more widely.
Making aircraft more lightweight
Leading Edge Composites (LEC), located in southeastern Pennsylvania, has for more than 20 years been at the forefront of composite development and manufacturing. The company supplies lightweight, state of the art parts for aircraft manufacturers, military, research and other applications. LEC has a long history of working with both rotorcraft and fixed wing and the client list includes Sikorsky Global Helicopters, Bell Helicopter, and AgustaWestland.
Customized components with a high level of engineering
-We work with a diverse group of companies for whom we produce a wide variety of interior and exterior parts including interior panels, custom cabinetry and heat/AC ductwork applications, says Michael Donaldson, Director of Business Development at LEC.
All our products are built to print and our molds and tooling can be designed to handle a wide range of production volumes, dimensional requirements, and processing conditions depending on customer or project requirements.
The reason customers choose LEC is because we are able to provide fully integrated design, engineering, tooling and production services, says Michael Donaldson.
Partnering with Diab
The choice of composite material is driven by customer requirements, but the engineers at LEC are often free to make their own suggestions. Their pick is often Diab’s Divinycell HT 61 or 81, which are used for a wide variety of applications. With its excellent strength-to-weight ratio, high temperature resistance and full production traceability, Divinycell HT is particularly suitable for structural designs in aircraft applications.
-Diab has been a very good partner for LEC in terms of supplier. We have worked together for 15 years, says Michael Donaldson. Diab material is always readily available and we can choose from a wide range of products that meet most demand. Quick access to the material and short lead times are very important for us.
Michael Donaldson sees an expanding use of composites in aerospace and the company is actually on the verge of moving into new production facilities, tripling its production space.