Application Techniques of Appliques for Aircraft Topcoats
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Realization of the benefits of appliqu¿ material as a replacement for paint on large, complex aircraft structures requires a significant improvement in process cost, material utilization and cosmetic quality. The ability to achieve improvements in processcost/quality has been successfully demonstrated, on a small scale, but involving ALL processes, within SBIR Phase I. Optimization of an integrated suite of digital tools improves process planning, material cutting, sorting and application. All componentsof this digital appliqu¿ processing will be integrated and operated for refinement on full size aircraft structures (F-16/F-35), by shop personnel, at Lockheed Martin. The proposed appliqu¿ cell includes: automatic capture and digital modeling ofaircraft surfaces for applications where accurate CAD surface definitions are not available, rule based definition of ply size and shape optimized for layup operators and surface characteristics (top, side, bottom, steep curve, etc.), flat patterningmaterial for automatic, high speed cutting with consideration for material drape and stretch characteristics (reducing/eliminating manual trimming on aircraft), nesting for maximum material utilization, digitally controlled kit sequencing and labeling foraccurately ordered kits and maximum cutter throughput, and laser pattern projection for precise manual placement and optimal cosmetics (.100? total process accuracy anticipated) on complex aircraft structures.
Small Business Information at Submission:
315 Littleton Rd. Chelmsford, MA 01824
Number of Employees: