FFG Take Off
When looking at the future of aviation, we can see two clear trends: The first one is that air traffic volume will increase in such a way that the aviation industry will see a capacity bottleneck. The second one is that demands for faster, lighter and cheaper airplanes will grow. The current conversion of airplane hull material from aluminum to CFRP creates the need for the structural parts of the hull, such as frames and stringers, to be made from CFRP. Current processes show that the production of profiles in Carbon Composite is feasible, yet highly inefficient in terms of cost and effort compared to the benefits in weight. Looking at the starting airplane programs A-350, Boeing 737 and the development of the new generation single aisle airplanes like A-320neo, A-30X, Boeing 777, Embraer E-Jets SPARTA tooling addresses an urgent issue of modern cfrp-frame production. When the manufacturing of these aircrafts ramps up to the supposed 40ac/month, automation will need to be integrated in production lines. The peak of automation is already reached in state of the art production therefore new processes have to be developed for the years 2020+. The automotive approach shows potential for integrated, automated and optimated serial processes and the potential to ramp up to between 10.000 and 100.000 parts p.a. based on resin transfer molding processes. Thus the challenge to bring the cost-, energy, and time effective processes in line with the high quality demands of aerospace structure remains to be solved.
The project SPARTA tooling comprises the development of a cost- and energy efficient, automated resin transfer molding production process for aerospace fuselage frames.
Within the SPARTA project AAC is responsible for the simulation of the production process – including the behavior of the mold under temperature and load, the simulation of the resin infusion process and the behavior of the part after demoulding (spring – in effect).
In addition AAC is developing an integrated process- and structural health monitoring system based on piezo sensors allowing a through life monitoring of the produced part.