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 8 | 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 INSIDE MANUFACTURING 4 8 | 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 INSIDE MANUFACTURING Step 1 Carbon tow is spread into thin tape and resin-impregnated in NTPT's proprietary spreading and impregnation units; the unidirectional prepreg tape is rolled up on a dedicated reel. Step 2 Reels of prepreg tape are loaded onto NTPT's custom-designed ATL machine, controlled by its own CNC software program. Step 3 Preforms for the 27m/±45° wingbox skin were layed by the ATL over an epoxy adhesive film on an expanded tool table, as shown here. Step 4 The Si2 airframe was constructed in Decision's factory in Ecublens, Switzerland. On the far left is the 30m/100-ft oven, built into one end of the factory. Step 5 The wing spar box was layed up as a honeycomb structural sandwich, skinned with TPT 100-g/m, 2 ±45° preforms. Step 7 Bulkheads are sanded in preparation for bonding them into the wing spar box. Step 8 The wing interior: The white panel at the back of the image is the inside face of the solar panel; the flat black plate on the left is a panel of the wing spar box; and in the foreground are the ribs. Source (step photos 1-3): NTPT Source (step photos 4-7): Solar Impulse/Photo: Stephane Gros Source (step photo 8): Solar Impulse/Photo: Jean Revillard Step 6 One side of the wing spar box is positioned for bonding with the other box sides.

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