This project is focused on creating innovative design, technology development and manufacturing processes to produce challenging aircraft geometry from composite materials. Alternative composite designs, tooling and processes will be conceptualized and evaluated to optimize the manufacturing of the key features with each of three material systems.
Each sub-section key feature will be analyzed through process simulation and the results incorporated into trial parts, tooling and process design. Sub-section manufacturing trials will be used to gain processing experience and validate the simulation and conceptual approach. The sub-section results will be evaluated, and through a trade study process, the optimal composite system or innovative hybrid will be applied to a full-scale technology demonstrator. This structure will incorporate the best practices for optimized key feature designs, tooling and material systems. The knowledge generated and experience gained will provide for competitive cost, weight and quality advantages.
This project developed and demonstrated techniques to reduce the cost, manufacturing steps and time for the fabrication of large integrated composite structures. Demonstration hardware was created for aerospace composite components using co-curing and co-processing via a single cure event.
The project developed and demonstrated tooling concepts, layup techniques and co-processing technologies for typical aerospace airframes, with a focus primarily on the most challenging region of these structures, the intersections. The resulting technology and knowledge generated is applicable to airframe and component designs that incorporate highly integrated composite structures.
This project developed and demonstrated industry expertise using out-of-autoclave (OOA) pre-impregnated composite materials and processes to manufacture aerospace-quality laminates and sandwich panels. The aim of OOA is to reduce energy usage, labour and capital equipment costs.
Material characterization and process models developed in this project provide predictive tools that can be used to efficiently select appropriate processing parameters for new OOA part designs and aid in problem solving for production issues. The project concluded with the fabrication of a series of demonstrator parts, progressing in complexity, in a factory representative environment.
This project investigated the manufacturing feasibility of high temperature (600F+ service) composite materials for aerospace structure applications. The knowledge gained was on how the higher temperature class of composite materials are processed and identification of manufacturing risks.
The technology of high temperature fabrication was demonstrated through lab-scale manufacture and evaluation of laminate structures.
This project developed the underpinnings of a cost-effective data-centric factory environment where manufacturing data is used for real-time, statistical process control and data mining purposes, thus reducing risk in both cost and schedule. This included laboratory-scale trials of the sensors and system configurations to measure and record process and monitor/record environmental data throughout the composite production process.
This project demonstrated the benefits of advanced composite process control to reduce processing risk, scrap rates, lead times and process cycle times.
This project developed technologies for advanced composite process simulation to lower processing risk and simulation costs. Lab-scale fabrication of test and evaluation hardware was conducted in a simulated manufacturing environment using multiple materials and a matrix of cure cycles, geometries and other conditions for comparison to numerical analysis.
Variables studied included product geometry, materials, tooling and cure cycles. This project extended the current state of the art in the prediction of dimensional change during manufacturing.