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Fiberforge Corporation has delivered twenty thermoplastic advanced composite aircraft engine brackets for testing and evaluation by Honeywell Aerospace.
These high-performance brackets are 20% lighter than the existing titanium parts while maintaining part stiffness and all existing interfaces. In production, these parts are projected to reduce system cost through weight savings, cost-effective manufacturing using Fiberforge’s proprietary Relay process and a design that establishes a common form factor for use in multiple engine configurations.
The engine brackets are structural components that support several engine components, including hoses, cables, and printed circuit boards via integrated captive hardware. Traditionally fabricated from titanium, these replacement brackets are now comprised of carbon fibre reinforced PEEK thermoplastic tape supplied by TenCate. Fiberforge say that the project will break new ground in demonstrating the advantages of thermoplastic advanced composites in extreme vibration and dynamic loading conditions seen in many aviation products.
This effort is notable not only for the performance and cost savings of the end product, but also due to the speed of development. In order to be included in first quarter 2010 turbofan engine testing and evaluation, these brackets were designed, fabricated and delivered just twenty-three days after the receipt of order.
“This is an exciting program for Fiberforge,” states David Cramer, Fiberforge’s Chief Technology Officer. “Working closely with Honeywell and our suppliers, we are able to demonstrate Fiberforge’s ability to develop, rapidly prototype and manufacture high-performance, high-quality advanced-composite products. This is a landmark application for both Fiberforge and for the thermoplastic advanced composites industry in general. It also demonstrates that these materials offer strong potential for lightweighting in aircraft by replacing steel, aluminium and titanium. Our mission is to help customers capture this lightweighting potential to create a competitive advantage in their products.”
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