Eaton's Advancements in Fiber-Reinforced Plastics Providing Lighter, Stronger Materials for More Fuel-Efficient Aircraft

CLEVELAND … Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation’s advancements in the production of safer, lighter and stronger composite materials are leading the way to significant improvements in weight savings and fuel efficiency for next-generation aircraft. 

Engineers at Eaton’s Engineering Center in Pune, India, have developed a multi-scale modeling methodology for short-fiber reinforced injection-molded composites. The technology can be applied to a broad scope of aerospace products, including fuel tubes, fuel-pump housings, fuel delivery components, lightning isolators, canisters, and environmental control system ducting.

“Eaton has been very proactive in developing innovative materials that will help aircraft manufacturers design safer, lighter and more fuel-efficient aircraft,” said Anthony Vaughan, director of engineering for Eaton’s Conveyance Systems Division. “Having a strong global engineering team gives Eaton the capability to conceptualize and design improved technologies that are helping shape the future of aerospace manufacturing.” 

Eaton has led efforts to develop a multitude of composite products, including fluid-conveying components for fuel, hydraulic, coolant and engine systems. Composite materials not only contribute to improved aircraft performance but also are easier and more cost-effective to manufacture and assemble.

In July, Eaton’s expertise in modeling short-fiber reinforced composites took center stage during the International Conference on Structural Nano Composites, hosted at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom.

“Eaton’s presentation was well received, and we welcomed the opportunity to discuss the technology’s potential in multiple industries,” said Anil Gupta, head of the Modeling and Simulation Center of Excellence at the Eaton India Engineering Center. “The multi-scale modeling approach can be used to produce stronger, lighter materials for aerospace, as well as improved products for the automotive industry, such as oil pans and valves.”

In the aerospace industry, Eaton is a leading supplier of hydraulic, electro-hydraulic pump and generator products and integrated systems; engine and airframe fuel pumps; electric motors; aircraft door actuation, flight and flow controls; fluid, fuel and air delivery products and systems; nose wheel steering systems; integrated control systems; cockpit controls and displays; power and load management systems; pressure sensors, seals, and fluid health monitoring products and systems. Eaton serves commercial and military aviation, aerospace, military weapons, marine and off-road markets worldwide.

Eaton Corporation is a diversified power management company with more than 100 years of experience providing energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power. With 2011 sales of $16.0 billion, Eaton is a global technology leader in electrical components, systems and services for power quality, distribution and control; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has approximately 73,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit