High-Performance Composites

NOV 2014

High-Performance Composites is read by qualified composites industry professionals in the fields of continuous carbon fiber and other high-performance composites as well as the associated end-markets of aerospace, military, and automotive.

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Source: ATR CABIN FLOOR PANELS: Carbon/Nomex sandwich PROPELLER BLADES: Fiberglass/polyurethane foam/carbon fber spar BRAKES: Carbon/carbon 3 2 | H I G H - P E R F O R M A N C E C O M P O S I T E S FEATURE / COMPOSITES IN REGIONAL AIRCRAFT Source: Bombardier Fig. 4 Among regional aircraft in the 50- to 90-seat category, airlines clearly prefer those produced by ATR (Toulouse, France). ATR's current share is greater than that of Bombardier's CRJ and Q400 models and Embraer's E-jets combined. Fig. 5 Composites use in ATR's ATR72 is illustrated here, and includes the use of glass, aramid and carbon fiber reinforcement. (A similar graphic illustrating composites use on the ATR42 can be viewed online (see "Learn More"). Workers frst lay up dry fber over vari- ous sections of hard metal tooling that represent the wing's outer mold line, using laser technology to enable ply placement and fber orientation. The tooling sections are then assembled and the complete mold assembly and layup (which includes wing stiffeners) is moved into an autoclave ftted with plumbing that enables resin infusion of the closed mold inside the pressure ves- sel. A vacuum is applied, and the wing is cured under closely monitored tempera- tures and pressure. Embraer SA's early work in composites for primary structure focused on the ver- tical fns, horizontal stabilizers and pres- sure bulkheads in its business aircraft: the Phenom 100/300 line and, more recently, its Legacy 450/500 platform. Carbon compos- ites were used in control surfaces and to fashion fairings and ancillary structures. By 2012, carbon composites accounted for close to 20 percent of the structural weight in its executive jets. Embraer announced in 2008 and broke ground in late 2011 for what Marco Túlio Pellegrini, then senior VP of operations and the COO of the frm's Executive Jets division, called a "state-of- the-art composites center of excellence" located in Évora, Portugal. The facility, rep- resenting an estimated investment of $71.6 million (USD), is dedicated to making com- Fig. 3 Bombardier's Q400 NextGen turboprop steps up composites use, compared to previous QSeries iterations, with aramid fiber-reinforced composites in the leading edges of its wings, stabilizers and dorsal fin, but carbon fiber has replaced aramid in its cabin floor panels. Source: ATR for SpeedNews Year-end 2012 backlog of 50- to 90-seat aircraft ATR 61% Q400 11% CRJ700/900 17% E170/175 11% ATR 72 Composite Materials Carbon/Nomex sandwich Carbon monolithic structure Kevlar/Nomex sandwich Kevlar/Nomex sandwich with stiffening carbon plies Fiberglass/Nomex sandwich

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