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Aztex, Inc is now commissioning a large X-Cor production machine which will be used to supply material for Sikorsky’s Comanche helicopter program. The machine is fully computer controlled and will supply finished core parts to the program.
X-Cor is a new sandwich core material developed by Aztex as a honeycomb replacement core material. X-Cor is made from pultruded pins (carbon, fiberglass, ceramic etc.) embedded into a foam core, which for Comanche will be a closed cell Rohacell foam. The physical and mechanical properties of X-Cor can be tailored to achieve a wide range of mechanical properties, which can at least match Nomex, Korex and Aluminum honeycomb. For the Comanche program structure weight savings of at least 10% have been demonstrated along with 25% cost savings.
Aztex customers for X-Cor will soon be able to specify the exact mechanical properties needed for the part along with the part geometry and they will receive ready to fit parts; no special tooling will be needed. Multiple part nesting, cutting, pinning and local reinforcement operations on the machine are fully automatic.
Tony Bonnington, President of Aztex says that following recent announcements about the new reinforced foam core technology along with recent technical achievement awards such as the American Helicopter Society Robert Pinkney award he has seen a very high level of interest. Aztex is now working on several other major programs with partners who include EADS, Northrop, the US Airforce and several of the Formula 1 racecar teams.
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