Low-Cost, Thermoplastic Composite Processing for Open-Section Structural Components

Period of Performance: 01/01/1995 - 12/31/1995

$600K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

ADC Acquisition CO. DBA Automated Dynami
407 Front Street
Schenectady, NY 12305
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Automated Dynamics Corporation (ADC) proposes to extend the use of the thermoplastic composite in-situ consolidation process beyond fabrication of cylinders to open-section structural components. The thermoplastic in-situ consolidation process is an emerging out- of-autoclave processing technology that has been demonstrated by ADC and others to provide low cost, high performance cylindrical structures. Given the non-isothermal characteristics of the in- situ consolidation process, asymmetrical thermal stresses through- the-thickness of the composite laminate are developed during fabrication which manifests themselves in the form of warping in the case of an open-section geometry. The objective of the proposed Phase I effort is to 1) develop an understanding of the factors contributing to the warping phenomenon, 2) identify approaches by which warping can be eliminated or controlled to acceptable levels, and 3) demonstrate viability of proposed approaches in limited fabrication trials. If successful, the proposed effort will provide a low cost, out-of-autoclave process for the fabrication of large, thermoplastic composite wingskins and fuselage components.