Spirit AeroSystems develops RTM composite technology for aircraft spoilers

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» Fecha Publicación: 06/09/2017

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Spirit AeroSystems, Wichita, Kan., has developed a resin transfer molding (RTM) technology that supports the high-volume production of composite  aircraft spoilers and other monolithic components and promises to deliver improved quality and significant cost savings. Spirit will establish a world-class manufacturing platform involving state-of-the-art automation and robotics at the company's U.K. facility in Scotland to meet its customer's rate demands, which are currently over 600 spoilers per month.


 


The Scottish government is providing investment support to secure the project, which will result in an increase in headcount at the facility. The RTM design solution utilizes an innovative fabrication process, enabled by material selection, that is custom designed to meet the increasingly complex geometries required for advanced composite structures. The process greatly increases design certainty and structural integrity throughout the completed component. This, in combination with a fully defined manufacturing process and industrialization strategy, presents an alternative solution to the current composite sandwich structure.


The RTM solution offers non-crimp fabric skins and stiffeners while maintaining existing product interfaces. It allows for greater process control, reduced cycle time, and lower energy consumption.


Spirit will also utilize Spirit Exact, a suite of technologies that allow parts to become tools, for assembly of the RTM "closed cell" composite box. Spirit has completed RTM technology demonstrations at its Advanced Technology Centre in Prestwick, and is scheduled to begin production of the single-aisle spoilers with the new process in 2019.


Spirit and Airbus have been collaborating on the research and development of the new technology since 2014. The Scottish government is providing investment support to secure the project. The Aerospace Technology Institute, a U.K. government aerospace research and development institute, also provided a funding match to the effort.


Spirit AeroSystems is one of the largest manufacturers of aerostructures in the world with design and build capabilities for both commercial and defense customers. In addition to spoilers, the company currently produces the A320 family leading and trailing edge.


www.spiritaero.com


 


 


Subject Classifications


Composite Materials


Industries and Applications | Aerospace and Defense


Materials Processing and Treatment | Composites Processing


Nonmetallic Engineering Materials | Polymers and Plastics


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