30 August 2016
30 August 2016
AGC AeroComposites has successfully completed their ‘CoFusion’ project with funding from the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP), in partnership with the UK National Composites Centre, TenCate Advanced Composites and Rolls Royce.
The project involved work to optimise the efficiency and applicability of an innovative, low cost thermoplastic composite welding process.
According to AGC, the ‘CoFusion’ project demonstrated that carbon/polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) composite thermoformed components can be reliably welded to form complex assemblies utilising resistive composite welding elements that contain no metal meshes or inserts. The resulting welded components feature consistent high strength and fatigue properties that have been demonstrated at both coupon and component levels. Low cost equipment and materials can be used and the heating to welding temperature takes only three minutes. The process is not limited to flat components; panels with significant curvature can be welded reliably. All resulting welds are high quality with no voids passing standard ultrasonic Non-destructive Testing (NDT) specifications.
AGC explains that welded top-hat sandwich panels were produced and structurally compared by torsional strength and fatigue testing to identical riveted parts. The welded component had higher stiffness and greater strength reaching five times that of the riveted component. The fatigue performance of the welded component was also significantly superior with no damage at 350,000 cycles in comparison to the riveted parts that only survived 50,000 cycles.
“The CoFusion project was a tremendous opportunity for our company to pursue advances in composite technology,” said Wayne Exton, CEO of AGC AeroComposites. “The ability to weld thermoformed thermoplastic composite components to form structurally efficient lightweight assemblies allows us to continue to provide our global customer base with innovative, high quality, cost-effective products.”
The NATEP funding ran for 18 months and had a total budget of £275,000; half of which was funded through NATEP.
NATEP is a £40 million technology development program derived from a bid by the Aerospace Growth Partnership to the Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative. The goal of the program is to mature undeveloped aerospace technologies and increase manufacturing jobs in the UK.
NetComposites Enterprise is pleased to announce the next INC 2017 (Industrial Nanocomposites Conference), an international conference taking place 10th – 11th October at the Maritim Hotel, Stuttgart, Germany, and abstracts are now being sought from potential speakers.
Water Jet Sweden's new T-model is a multi-purpose waterjet cutting machine designed for in-house production, part manufacturing, and design, engineering and prototype workshops. It can cut composites, metals, plastic, glass, stone and many other materials, up to 200 mm thick, with the same cutting tool.
Altair’s product development services division Altair ProductDesign has been awarded a 2016 Boeing Performance Excellence Award. Boeing issues the award annually to recognise suppliers which have achieved superior performance.