DowAksa Global Composites Center Boosts Turkey’s Aerospace Capabilities

SSM Investment in Prepreg Technology Fosters Strategic Development Partnership Between TAI and DowAksa

May 17, 2016

YALOVADowAksa Global Composites Center –DowAksa welcomed officials on Friday, May 13th from the Undersecretariat of Defense Industries (SSM) and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) to jointly open The DowAksa Global Composites Center. The high technology facility is designed to advance Turkey’s carbon fiber and other reinforcement composites manufacturing mainly for aerospace applications in both defense and commercial aviation, also targeting the infrastructure, marine, wind energy and transportation sectors. DowAksa is a 50/50 joint venture between The Dow Chemical Company and Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii A.Ş.

As a new investment at DowAksa’s global carbon fiber and composites production campus in Yalova, Turkey, the new Global Composites Center is partially funded by SSM under the IPEK Project, which aims to develop innovative carbon fiber and other reinforcement based pre-impregnated materials that will be domestically produced for military and commercial aircraft. As a result of the project, DowAksa will offer Turkish innovations in prepreg materials and process technology to both domestic and global aerospace customers.

The Undersecretary for Defense Industries, Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir said, “Composites are among the most important group of materials in aviation. The reason for why they have become the most important group of materials in aviation can be explained by the developments they went through in the past 30 years and their wide variety of applications in military and commercial aviation. Composite technology and its most important constituent, carbon fiber technology, play an important role not only in aviation, but also in satellite platforms and access to outer space. Public support, dynamic power of the private sector and guiding policies of the government are critical in creating a composites industry in our country. This project is a product of nativization, nationalization and technology development policies of our Undersecretariat. Activities and partnerships such as these are a source of pride for our country. I hope that we see other facilities like this one in the future.”

Undersecretary Demir joined TAI Deputy General Manager Naki Polat, DowAksa Deputy Chairman Mehmet Ali Berkman and DowAksa CEO Douglas Parks for the opening ceremony of the 2,600 m2 Center. After the ceremony, dignitaries and other distinguished guests from government, industry and universities took a tour of the new facilities’ world-class laboratories and manufacturing equipment, including fiber weaving and multi-axial prepreg machines.

According to DowAksa Deputy Chairman Berkman, “Turkish companies are developing, producing and exporting more advanced technology products than ever before, and DowAksa is proud that our domestically-made carbon fiber solutions will use market-driven innovations to
benefit our Government’s national security, energy and trade goals all contributing to economic growth.”

Carbon fiber prepregs are highly important to the global aviation industry, and the product advancements offered by the IPEK Project will provide the benefits of new technology to advance Turkish aerospace objectives. The material will be manufactured to world-class aviation standards and is initially intended to be used in domestic unmanned vehicles and trainer aircraft such as TF-X, HÜRKUŞ and ANKA.

TAI Deputy General Manager Naki Polat said: “We are opening the first facility that we will use to supply a raw material by our own means. The usage of this material in both defense and aviation is now above 50%. Right now, composite usage in the new generation Boeing 787 and A350 is above 50 percent. Composites have become essential both in military and civilian aircraft. Their usage is also on the rise in sectors outside defense and industry. The center being opened today will create big opportunities for our country and our defense and aviation industries.”

DowAksa CEO Douglas Parks praised SSM for funding the IPEK Project, while noting the strong collaboration that has emerged with project partner TAI: ”SSM understands very precisely the strategic value of developing new composite capabilities for defense and commercial aerospace applications that can integrate the value of high-strength, lightweight composites into its domestic capabilities, and with their expertise and know-how, TAI provides our team the guidance to successfully start up a facility that will deliver continuous innovation improvements.”

İpek Project
In 2014, SSM initiated “Ipek Project”, a 3-year initiative to manufacture the first domestic carbon fiber and glass fiber-based prepreg materials. The materials manufactured by DowAksa will be used in TAI’s unique applications, focused on material advancements for Turkish aviation for both the defense and commercial sectors. The final project deliverables are due to SSM in early 2017.
About DowAksa
DowAksa, a 50/50 joint venture between The Dow Chemical Company and Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii A.Ş. is a large-scale, full-service, fully integrated provider of carbon fiber solutions for industrial applications in today’s transportation, infrastructure and energy markets. Solutions that improve performance while reducing overall costs.
Very strong and lightweight, carbon-fiber-based materials are used in a variety of applications where weight savings, emissions reduction, durability and energy efficiency are key performance factors.
By bringing together the materials science expertise of Dow with the acrylic fiber capacity of Aksa, DowAksa has the capacity and the commitment to reliably meet the unique demands of industrial carbon fiber customers.