New Method of Manufacturing Light Aircraft Parts Reduces Costs and Increases Production Speed and Quality

10 June 2019

New Method of Manufacturing Light Aircraft Parts Reduces Costs and Increases Production Speed and Quality

Composite materials are widely used in aeronautics because of the major weight savings they provide, which directly affects their environmental impact because they require less fuel and thus reduce CO2 emissions.

However, the current manufacturing process is not technically or economically efficient because large sandwich-structured parts are manually manufactured and autoclave cured.

AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, is participating in the FAMACOM project, which aims to increase the competitiveness of the Andalusian aeronautics industry by developing an integrated solution through microwave curing for manufacturing large sandwich-structured composite parts. Research will provide an important technological advancement as a result of the patent developed by one of the participating research bodies, which will allow for even curing of sandwich-structured parts and overcome the difficulties arising from the thickness and non-uniform nature of these assemblies.

The result of the project will be a demonstrator for the later stages of the industrialisation process consisting of a sandwich panel structure for aircraft. However, its benefits will also be applicable to other high-tech sectors such as the rail, automotive and wind energy industries.   

The FAMACOM consortium is led by Aerotecnic with the collaboration of partners CT Ingenieros Andalucía, INESPASA and TITANA, and is also supported by research bodies Universidad de Cádiz, FADA-CATEC and AIMPLAS. AIMPLAS’s contribution will mainly focus on material selection and optimisation of the microwave curing process.

The objectives of this project are aligned with the Factories 4.0 and Beyond strategy, as well as with the Societal Challenge on Smart, Green and Integrated Transport, which forms part of the National Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation for 2017-2020.

FAMACOM is funded by the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) with the support of the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Photo provided by Aimplas

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