SPARTA - Frame production in the RTM process for aviation applications
Starting point / Motivation
When looking at the future of aviation, we can see two clear trends: The first one is that air traffic volume will increase in such a way that the aviation industry will see a capacity bottleneck. The second one is that demands for faster, lighter and cheaper airplanes will grow.
The current conversion of airplane hull material from aluminum to CFRP creates the need for the structural parts of the hull, such as frames and stringers, to be made from CFRP, too. Current processes show that the production of profiles in Carbon Composite is feasible, yet highly inefficient in terms of cost and effort compared to the benefits in weight.
- Research on Production Technologies for part families (frames, ribs)
- Reduction of process costs, energy consumption and manual manufacturing steps
- Automizable process transfered from automotive industry
- Use of 2 component, isothermal high pressure RTM processes on aerospace applications
Methodology / Approach
SPARTA was a game changing project for ALPEX technologies. As a company working both on automotive and aerospce projects the merging of this two industries begann with the project. With the partner Airbus Helicopters (Doors Systems) and the Austrian specialist on composite material (AAC) RTM processes where developed and sensored. From basic 1 component low pressure RTM to automotive 2K High pressure RTM technologies for aerospace manufacturing where developed on an A-350 door frame.
Results at the end of the project
SPARTA had 4 results:
- Development of the manufacturing system and technology currently implemented in the A-350 door system
- Development and later certification of an isothermal RTM cycle using Hexcels RTM 6 delivering shorter cycle times (-50%) lower tooling costs due to the use of conventional steel instead of INVAR(-50%) and improved quality
- Development for 2 Component Resin Systems improving manufacturing capabilities and reducing non productive process steps
- Development of automated, selfcleaning high pressure injection technology for aerospace