Airbus has development deal with National Composite Center, companies

KETTERING — The aircraft manufacturer Airbus has reached a five-year agreement with the National Composite Center and six companies to develop the next generation of advanced materials for commercial planes.

NanoSperse LLC, a participating company that is housed within the National Composite Center in Kettering, has been producing a compound since 2009 that is used to coat military jet engine parts to protect them against erosion. The new deal with Airbus will give NanoSperse an opportunity to serve the bigger market for commercial aircraft, its president, Art Fritts, said Thursday.

“It would certainly help us grow,” Fritts said of his eight-person company. “It’s very significant to us.”

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Airbus Americas chairman Allan McArtor and National Composite Center management will announce details of the agreement at the center Friday. The deal provides an international market for the new materials Ohio companies will develop, Brown said.

The deal resulted from an April 2010 procurement conference at the center, one of three such conferences Airbus conducted around Ohio after McArtor and Brown in 2009 announced the company’s formal partnership with Ohio suppliers. Airbus, based in France, spent $4.3 billion on procurement in Ohio during 2009, the highest total in any state, Brown said.

Composite materials are in demand for aerospace use because they are more lightweight and corrosion-resistant than metal parts.

NanoSperse has been producing a compound for Springboro-based Renegade Materials Corp. which uses it for a film that is applied to General Electric Co. jet engine parts to protect against corrosion. Renegade will also be a participant in the new agreement with Airbus, Fritts said.

NanoSperse specializes in nanotechnology, in which particles of substances much smaller than human hair fibers are introduced into existing materials to give them new properties such as increased durability.

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