Press release
December 11, 2008

Evonik Products ROHACELL® and SOLIMIDE® Assist Xiang Feng taking off

  • First introduction of ROHACELL® foam into a Chinese own-designed airplane
  • SOLIMIDE® foam for insulation

China's first domestically produced regional passenger jet, an ARJ21-700, completed its successful maiden flight in Shanghai on November 28, 2008. The regional jet has adopted mature technologies as well as advanced materials of the world. Evonik Industries, Germany, has supported the so called Xiang Feng, meaning Flying Phoenix, with two high-performance foams, ideal lightweight materials for the aerospace industry: the polymethacrylimide rigid foam ROHACELL® for structural composites and the polyimide soft foam SOLIMIDE® for insulation.

Both the winglet and flap vane of ARJ21 are using ROHACELL® foam-cored sandwich structures. This is the first time for ROHACELL® to be introduced into a Chinese own-designed airplane. The polymethacrylimide rigid foam ROHACELL® is used as a core material in composites—a technique that bonds the foam between two cover skins made of high-tenacity plastics, which are reinforced by carbon or glass fibers. The result: extremely rigid and lightweight molded parts capable of withstanding extreme stresses. Of all foams on the market, ROHACELL® has the best ratio of weight to mechanical properties and the highest thermostability. This makes ROHACELL® an ideal lightweight material for the aerospace industry.

Besides ROHACELL® rigid foam, SOLIMIDE® soft foam is used for the ARJ 2 insulation system. It is a lightweight material with a wide operating temperature range and good fire retardant properties, as well as low smoke and toxic gas production in case of fire. These make SOLIMIDE® the best insulation material in the aircraft.

The ARJ21 (Advanced Regional Jet for the 21st Century) is featured for its safety and economical price. It is the first regional jet that China has fully developed on its own, in accordance with the international standards. It will also be the first Chinese aircraft to be sold to Europe and America. A total of 208 ARJ21-700s have been ordered so far, including 25 by GE Commercial Aviation Services of the United States.

About Evonik

Evonik Industries is the creative industrial group from Germany which operates in three business areas: Chemicals, Energy and Real Estate. Evonik is a global leader in specialty chemicals, an expert in power generation from hard coal and renewable energies, and one of the largest private residential real estate companies in Germany. Our strengths are creativity, specialization, continuous self-renewal, and reliability. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In its fiscal year 2007 about 43,000 employees generated sales of about €14.4 billion and an operating profit (EBITDA) of more than €2.2 billion.


In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.