Evaluation of Automated RTM Processes and Materials for Naval Aircraft
NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER AIRCRAFT DIV PATUXENT RIVER MD
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NAVAIRSYSCOMs Materials Division has teamed with fellow Navy, university, and industry partners to demonstrate the viability of resin transfer modeling RTM for naval aviation applications. The Polymers and Composites Branchs research involved three major objectives The first objective was to evaluate the design and performance of the automated RTM equipment designed by Northwestern University NWU as part of the Advanced Materials Intelligent Processing Center AMIPC program. The second objective was the selection and characterization of materials and processes for RTM of primary structural composites using twoart resin systems. The third objective was to manufacture aerospace quality composites utilizing the selected resin systems and the NWU equipment. The resin injection equipment was designed with the aims of providing increased control and repeatability of material metering, mixing, and delivery. NAVAIRSYSCOM equipment trials have demonstrated these concepts and identified potential areas for improvement. This equipment was used to fabricate a series of test panels using two different two-part resins, studying various factors such as injection flow rates and pressures, cure process parameters, mold styles, and fiber reinforcements. Through physical and mechanical testing, the selected materials have demonstrated processing flexibility and excellent performance.
- Laminates and Composite Materials