Global air travel and air cargo are set to increase by 35,000 aircrafts over the next two decades, not including maintenance, repair and overhaul of existing fleets. For the aeronautics industry, the challenge is to make this growth sustainable. Airplanes must be quiet, energy efficient and emit less pollution, all while keeping safety a priority. As a result, manufacturers need lighter materials such as composite and new technologies to maintain the aircrafts’ high standards.
Air Liquide knows that airplane manufacturers need high quality gas solutions and equipment that not only make their manufacturing and maintenance activities possible, but easier.
Gas solutions in compliance with the regulations set by the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program
Our strength is to support the aviation industry by providing the technical expertise they need in gas applications. Used in the fabrication of components and the upkeep of aircraft, our gases are compatible with new lightweight composite materials.
On the strength of its expertise in air gas separation technologies, Air Liquide has become a major partner for the civil and military aviation industry in the design of on-board gas generation systems.
The On Board Oxygen Generating System – or OBOGS – was developed to provide an unlimited supply of continuous oxygen-enriched air directly on-board aircraft. This system meets all of the physiological needs of the aircraft crew (breathable gas and anti-g protection). All of the OBOGS functions are controlled electronically, offering a great deal of flexibility in terms of managing operational parameters (altimeter pressure laws, surveillance law, etc.).
Selected for numerous military aviation programs, the Air Liquide OBOGS will soon equip more than half of all new generation aircraft. OBOGS is also an equipment of choice for civil aircraft.
Protecting fuel tanks with OBIGGS
The On Board Inert Gas Generating System – or OBIGGS – improves helicopter and airplane safety thanks to an inerting system that reduces the risk of fire or explosion originating in the fuel tanks. A portion of the oxygen contained in the tank is selectively replaced by nitrogen-enriched air that is produced on-board by the OBIGGS, rendering the fuel vapors non-flammable. This equipment does not require any special pre-flight calibration or logistics.
Breathing protection for cabin crews with PBE
Lastly, Air Liquide designs and manufactures Protective Breathing Equipment – or PBE – protective smoke hoods that are specially designed for use by commercial aircraft cabin crews in a toxic atmosphere following an on-board incident (smoke/fire, cabin contaminated by toxic fumes, etc.). These smoke hoods, which use compressed aviation grade oxygen, protect flight crew personnel from toxic inhalation and ensure the autonomy required to function during incident-related evacuation procedures. The hood is made of Nomex, a flame- and heat-resistant fabric, and features a polycarbonate visor treated with an anti-fog, anti-scratch coating. It is quickly donned with no prior adjustment needed and its phonic membrane ensures constant communication with available on-board resources.
As a global company with an international network of experts, we are on hand to support our customers in the aviation industry with their development and innovation. We intervene in the critical steps of plane fabrication that require expertise in heat treatment, welding and curing.
Heat treatment is used to ensure the highest quality metal fabrication for the creation of components ranging from landing gear and engine pylons to turbines and motors. For this process, we offer ALNAT™, a range of metal heat treatment solutions, encompassing gas, related handling equipment and services, which ensure consistency and reproducible operations. Surface treatment such as HVOF (high velocity oxy-fuel) or plasma assisted deposit processes are also used to give the final properties to the parts.
Arc welding is essential to the assembly of aircraft components and structures. For the assembly process, we offer some of the most reliable shielding gases in the industry. ARCAL™ is our leading brand of welding gases (argon and argon-based mixtures), compliant with ISO standards and useable in root shielding and welding.
Autoclave curing is a process in which large composition parts of aircraft structures must be inerted or rendered incombustible. The quality of inerting is particularly important to ensure the safety and integrity of the fabrication process. To this end, we supply advanced solutions with nitrogen.
Air Liquide’s offer for the aerospace industry provides a complete solution adapted our customers' needs, which includes gases, services for technical process application and access to an extensive breadth of welding products and safety equipment.