Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Infrared Heating helps to ensure quality in the manufacture of composite structures for airplanes

14.06.2012
An infrared heating system from Heraeus Noblelight is helping to ensure the high quality of composite aerospace structures manufactured at the new GKN Aerospace facility at Western Approach, near Bristol.

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:
Heraeus Noblelight GmbH
Reinhard-Heraeus-Ring 7
D-63801 Kleinostheim
Tel +49 6181/35-8545, Fax +49 6181/35-16 8545
E-Mail hng-infrared@heraeus.com
Press:
Dr. Marie-Luise Bopp
Heraeus Noblelight GmbH,
Abteilung Marketing/Werbung
Tel +49 6181/35-8547, Fax +49 6181/35-16 8547
E-Mail marie-luise.bopp@heraeus.com

Dr. Marie-Luise Bopp | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH
Further information:
http://www.heraeus-noblelight.com
http://www.heraeus-noblelight.com/infrared

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Quick, Precise, but not Cold
17.05.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht A laser for divers
03.05.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>