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The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued Automated Dynamics (ADC) with US Patent 8,947,847, which covers methods to automate incorporation of lightning strike protection layers into composite structures.
According to ADC, this development promises to significantly lower production costs throughout several industries where such protection is necessary, including but not limited to: aerospace, oil and gas, wind energy, and countless others.
“The necessary trend toward lower density LSP solutions have complicated integration of an automated manufacturing solution,” said Ralph Marcario, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Automated Dynamics. “This technology enables automation of this critical step and provides significant improvements in production time and dramatic decreases in production cost.”
ADC explains that the invention incorporates the metallic lightning strike materials using traditional equipment and techniques for fibre placement and tape laying, produced by ADC and others. The metallic mesh is embedded into pre-impregnated tape, offering the mesh support during placement and assuring full consolidation into the composite matrix. It is compatible with both thermoset and thermoplastic resin systems. ADC further stressed that this technology can be readily incorporated into the composite structures that they produce for companies in the composites end markets. ADC’s automation equipment can also be easily augmented to enable this capability.
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