RE-ENGINEERING THE COMPOSITE PARTS
Through collaboration with ORPC and our partner, A&P Technology (A&P), we re-engineered the ORPC foil and strut to achieve the same structural results of the composite parts made by hand lay-up of pre-preg according to a detailed ply schedule with an autoclave cure to a custom braided, dry fiber ply schedule, combined with resin transfer molding of an industrial grade epoxy resin and an oven cure.
DETAILS OF THE SOLUTION
To construct the foil, Hawthorn Composites (Hawthorn) used an automated table cutter to cut the ply kit that includes a combination of unidirectional Zero carbon fabric, BiMax (+/- 45°) carbon fabric, and QISO (0° +/- 60°) carbon fabric that were much thicker than the original pre-preg material, resulting in significantly less lay-up time. For the strut, Hawthorn cut the ply kit using a thick QISO (0° +/- 60°) fiberglass fabric, which was laid up in an RTM clamshell mold. It required 36 plies to achieve the client’s specified dimensions and requirements.
The re-engineered foils and struts met ORPC’s structural and specification requirements while delivering significant benefits. The Hawthorn manufactured foil accomplished a 70% reduction in production time and ORPC received a 35% reduction in overall cost, The Hawthorn manufactured strut resulted in ORPC receiving an overall 20% reduction in cost.
THE HAWTHORN ADVANTAGE
Hawthorn Composites utilizes dry fabrics/preforms, resin infusion, and novel manufacturing methods to make complex geometry composite parts that are equal or better in performance and quality to baseline manufacturing methods at significantly lower cost.
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