NetComposites
3M

Aviation Enterprises Mould Single Piece Prepreg Box-Spar Demonstrator

25 February 2014

The demonstrator, Aviation Enterprises (AEL) says, was produced to production-ready quality levels.

Whilst this development has been made particularly with tidal energy blades in mind, AEL believes that the new technology should also confer benefits across a wide variety of applications in the aerospace, offshore and industrial sectors.

The new spar represents a major milestone on the road toward tidal blade industrialisation. AEL add that when compared to the current state-of-the-art in tidal blade construction, a single-piece spar enables a significant reduction in both part count and assembly stages.  Additionally, adoption of a single piece spar will negate the need for adhesive bonding during the spar manufacturing process.  The net effect will be large reductions in materials and labour costs, streamlining of blade production and the avoidance of critical processes.

Cost, efficiency, reliability and quality have been watchwords throughout the programme. From the outset, AEL says it has aimed to perfect an externally-moulded spar without recourse to an autoclave, and using materials developed at AEL specifically for rapid application. 

Further work will focus on the application of the new moulding technique to a full-size spar, integration within the blade, and the opportunities for mechanisation and process refinement that volume production will bring.






Related / You might like...

Compcut 200 Increases Testing Productivity at Renault Sport Racing

Sharp & Tappin has installed and commissioned a Compcut 200 composite plate saw at Renault Sport Racing in Enstone, Oxfordshire, UK.

Composites Europe 2018 Highlights Contributions of Composites to Sport

Applications for composites in the sports and leisure sector will be showcased by various exhibitors at Composites Europe in Stuttgart, Germany, on 6-8 November.

Alvant Supports £28m Safran-Led Aircraft Landing Gear Project

Alvant has been appointed to work on a two-year, £28 million project titled Large Landing Gear of the Future, which aims to deliver a 30% weight reduction and assist the aerospace industry’s drive to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.