The system, which is used to provide interim processing of the laid-up composite rear spar assembly of the Airbus 350 XWB to prevent subsequent wrinkling, was custom-designed and developed in close co-operation with GKN Aerospace engineers following initial tests at Heraeus’ Application Centre in Neston, Wirral.
Infrared heat helps to avoid wrinkling in aircraft structures. Copyright Heraeus Noblelight 2012
GKN Aerospace is a world-leading, global first tier supplier of airframe and engine structures, components and assemblies to a wide range of aircraft and engine prime contractors and other first tier suppliers. It has invested £170 million to create its new composite wing structures manufacturing and assembly facility, which represents an international centre of excellence.
The new “Western Approach” site consists of two main buildings. The first contains a state-of-the-art composites manufacturing operation that incorporates the latest, automated high-speed, precision production technologies. The second building houses an innovative and “moving line” assembly operation that uses automated, guided vehicles to move the wing structures through a series of semi-robotic work stations.
An important work package already underway at the site is the manufacture of the all-composite rear wing spars for the Airbus A350 XWB. Each of the three rear wing spars is manufactured by laying up pre-preg carbon composite tape on a mandrel and then curing the assembly in an autoclave. However, such complex lay down operations can sometimes produce wrinkling of the final surface because of voids and excess resin between plies or laminates. One proven answer to this problem is de-bulking, which involves enclosing the composite structure in a vacuum bag at various stages in its manufacture and then compacting or squeezing out of air and volatiles between plies or pre-preg laminates under moderate heat and vacuum to insure seating on the mandrel, to prevent wrinkles, and to promote adhesion.
GKN Aerospace’s engineers decided that de-bulking could provide significant benefits and asked Heraeus to carry out initial trials using infrared emitters to provide the required heat. These were followed by on-site trials using a portable infrared system at Western Approach and these were so successful that a prototype system was supplied.
The prototype system was finally replaced by a scaled-up 465 kW production system, where each of the three heating sections now has seven controllable zones to provide precise surface heating.
Heraeus, the precious metals and technology group headquartered in Hanau, Germany, is a global, private company with more than 160 years of tradition. Our fields of competence include precious metals, materials, and technologies, sensors, biomaterials, and medical products, as well as dental products, quartz glass, and specialty light sources. With product revenues of €4.8 billion and precious metal trading revenues of €21.3 billion, as well as more than 13,300 employees in over 120 subsidiaries worldwide, Heraeus holds a leading position in its global markets.
Heraeus Noblelight GmbH with its headquarters in Hanau and with subsidiaries in the USA, Great Britain, France, China and Australia, is one of the technology- and market-leaders in the production of specialist light sources. In 2011, Heraeus Noblelight had an annual turnover of 103 Million € and employed 731 people worldwide. The organization develops, manufactures and markets infrared and ultraviolet emitters for applications in industrial manufacture, environmental protection, medicine and cosmetics, research, development and analytical measurement techniques.
For further information, please contact:Technical:
CeGlaFlex project: wafer-thin, unbreakable and flexible ceramic and glass
25.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
Additive manufacturing, from macro to nano
11.04.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences