Title: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES TO TRANSITIONING AUTOMOTIVE COMPOSITES TO AEROSPACE
Abstract: The composite manufacturing methods commonly used by the automotive industry offer appealing cost and cycle time advantages to aerospace. Mechanical performance and service temperature capabilities of the materials used by the auto industry, however, severely limit the aerospace applications for such processes. Continuing advances in materials and processes for automated, high rate and low cost composite manufacturing techniques are providing a pathway for the transition of such technologies to the fabrication of next generation aircraft structures. In addition, aerospace applications like the USAF Low Cost Attritable Aircraft program, are emerging that can accept reduced performance in trade for cost and cycle time improvements. As an example of one such process technology this paper provides a description of the Long Fiber Injection (LFI) technology, currently used to build vehicle structures for the agriculture and trucking industries, and provides an overview of how a broad industry team is looking to improve the performance of composites built using this inherently rapid and low cost process. When the right mix of performance improvements is paired with low cost target air vehicle applications then technologies like LFI will quickly transition from ground vehicles to aircraft.
Authors: Robert Koon, Michael Rademacher, Matt Getty
Conference: CAMX 2017 –Orlando