Crump, Duncan A., Dulieu-Barton, Janice M. and Savage, John
The manufacturing procedure for aerospace secondary sandwich structure panels
Journal of Sandwich Structures and Materials, 12, . (doi:10.1177/1099636209104531).
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This study provides a detailed consideration of five manufacturing
options that are used to produce aerospace sandwich panels used in secondary
structure. The structural performance of each of the manufacturing options is
considered along with a cost analysis. By considering the traditional preimpregnated
(prepreg), autoclave-cured process, the sources of cost have been investigated, and it
has been shown that by removing a portion of the large labor content and the
autoclave cure, in favor of an oven-only cure, it would be possible to make
significant savings. Monitoring the time to manufacture representative full-scale
sandwich panels using the five manufacturing options has shown that by using a
resin film infusion (RFI) oven cure, a 30% reduction in time to production is possible.
To make an initial assessment of the comparative structural performance of
laminates produced using the five manufacturing options, this article also presents
results of material quality, in-plane and out-of-plane loading tests. The results of
these tests show that the laminates produced using RFI are comparable in quality
and performance to laminates produced using the current aerospace industry
standard prepreg/autoclave process.
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