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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4 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 pointed out. "Diehl [Laupheim, Germa- ny], Boeing Interiors Responsibility Cen- ter [North Charleston, S.C., and Everett, Wash.] and us. We make and supply all of the components needed, from cargo to cabin." FACC now owns a 20-plus percent share of the commercial aircraft cabin market. Filsegger credited that to FACC's innovative approach to interiors, which dates back to the frst MD-95 . He recounted an example, "The line of stow- age bins, sidewalls and ceiling panels inside the fnished cabin had to be pre- cisely level." However, he described the plane's aluminum fuselage sections as "fexible tubes" to which composite inte- riors were attached using myriad adjust- able brackets. Thus, interior unit align- ment required painstaking adjustment of hundreds of hard-to-reach threaded tie rods. "We developed a laser-aligned installation, which located a highly ef- fective new type of attachment, indepen- dent of the incongruities in the fuselage barrels, which was very fast and effcient." FACC also pioneered the now-standard hinge used on practically every fxed-shelf stowage bin (overhead compartment) door. "It used to be that this hinge had an air- or spring-loaded actuator that extended back into the bin, but made the corners unusable space," Filsegger recalled. FACC's smaller, more reliable hinge incorporates the actuator into the hingeline, opening up that space. Plant 2's landscape revealed rack after rack of completed bins and numerous fabrication and assembly areas, each de- voted to a different aircraft's components. skins that feature a 2x2 twill prepreg and aluminum honeycomb core. FACC also developed a sound attenuation treat- ment for the duct's inner skin. In 2013, after only 12 months of development, FACC delivered several variations of a new design for the PurePower PW800 en- gine aimed at long-range business jets, regional jets and single-aisle jetliners and looks forward to beginning serial production soon. Interiors now and tomorrow The tour's next leg took HPC to Plants 2 and 3, 10 km/6.2 miles away in Ort im Innkreis. Plant 2 houses interiors pro- duction. "There are only three compa- nies who can design, develop and sup- ply a complete aircraft interior," Stephan ed nondestructive testing (NDT) cells, including two new machines supplied by local machinery company Fill (Gurten, Austria). One was a high-speed, 10-axis, 3-D linear ultrasound system capable of through-transmission and pulse echo in- terrogation. Designed for high through- put (linear speed up to 1.7 m/s) and high accuracy (±0.2 mm), two electronically coupled, numerically controlled mod - ules move the inspection heads along a 3-D path generated via interface with standard CAD systems. The second sys- tem uses a 7-axis robotic arm to perform pulse-echo ultrasound testing with the same basic speed and accuracy of 3-D inspection. As FACC series production ramps up for a program, Filsegger ex- plained that every part is inspected until statistical quality performance is estab- lished over a specifed number of parts. After that, defned periodic sampling is considered suffcient. Before leaving Plant 1, HPC passed through one of the larger open areas within the building, populated by a number of barrel-shaped structures with various-shaped cutouts. Another FACC area of expertise, these were lightweight, sound-absorbing composite outer by- pass ducts, which channel the outer (by- pass) airfow around the hot core in tur- bofan engines. FACC worked with Pratt & Whitney to develop the latter's frst composite bypass duct in 2002, and has produced more than 1,000 similar parts for Rolls Royce's (London, U.K.) BR700 family of engines since 2001. The Pratt & Whitney structure uses a sandwich construction with carbon fber/epoxy Fig. 5 Plant 1's winglet assembly area featured racks of CFRP spars ready to bolt to CFRP skins as well as a full paintshop where FACC applies each airline's livery. FACC produces winglets for Aviation Partners Boeing, Dassault and Airbus. Fig. 6 In Plant 2, racks of interior stowbins are assembled from flat honeycomb-cored panels pre- potted to receive hardware. FACC continues to push system integration: for example, in-house produced composite ducting (see inset) and, in the future, electric actuation to increase space and loading volume while reducing weight. Source: HPC/Photo: Ginger Gardiner Source (both photos): HPC Photo: Ginger Gardiner

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