Advanced Engineering 2018

Access to VAP Technology Via EADS and Trans-Textil

03 August 2010

As part of its Technology Licensing Initiative, EADS Deutschland GmbH is placing its patented VAP membrane-assisted, low pressure infusion method at the disposal of the market by means of a licence management system.

Trans-Textil GmbH, an EADS-authorised VAP licensor for the non-aerospace sector and preferred EADS partner in the aerospace sector, is the direct, worldwide contact for all questions concerning contract-based VAP licensing. .

""Although the way to using the patented VAP process is clearly explained, a certain amount of misinformation exists on the market"", states Martin Salzburger, Patent and Technology Licensing Manager at EADS. As he explains, ""VAP is available for use via a licence management system. User licenses for the aerospace industry are issued by EADS itself, while our authorised VAP licensor Trans-Textil is the right place to contact for all other areas"". Use of the VAP method without a license or with non-licensed membrane system constitutes infringement of the EADS patent.

Licensed VAP membrane systems

Trans-Textil GmbH supplies membrane systems – the decisive component in the VAP approach – for use in the respective membrane-assisted low pressure infiltration work. The combination they involve of an air- and gas-permeable resin barrier bonded (laminated) to a sophisticated textile carrier enables a high degree of precision in the production of complex lightweight parts. Moreover, each of the membrane systems in the company’s range is tailored to specific process variables concerning gas permeability, barrier performance, heat resistance and drapability.

Trans-Text ensures the suitability of its quality-assured VAP membrane systems for use with various different resin types and process variants by testing them under realistic conditions in its in-house VAP® test lab. Thanks to its broad portfolio of semi-permeable barrier layers and textile carriers, and precisely controlled production processes, it is also able to offer membrane systems adapted to customer's specific requirements.

All-round service for VAP

As a further partner in the VAP competency network, Composyst GmbH handles the technical support side. ""We offer interested VAP users extensive advice on judging the suitability of the method for their needs, provide support when they start using it, help ensure successful production outcomes and stay at their side with on-going technical process know-how"", states Composyst Managing Director Stefan Utecht, who can look back on longstanding experience of VAP. The company also offers the ""Fit for Composites"" programme of training for all levels from shop-floor worker to engineer.

NEXICOS prototype

Premium AEROTEC GmbH recently demonstrated its own production expertise and VAP membrane-assisted low pressure infusion at the unveiling of the prototype of a civilian helicopter fuselage section in its NEXICOS project.

Using VAP membrane systems, the aerostructure supplier had fabricated the complex fuselage barrel in a single go, complete with integrated stringers, local reinforcements and window frames. As it reports, the VAP method not only enabled automation of various process steps but also delivered significant mould-making flexibility, thus smoothing the way further for scaling up production of the part to the industrial level. According to Trans-Textil, the VAP approach also yielded cost savings of 30 percent over comparable prepreg structures.

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