Truss Member Fabrication Using In-Situ Thermoplastic Materials
Small Business Information
Fiber Materials, Inc.
5 Morrin Street, Biddeford, ME, 04005
AbstractTo continue the development of low cost carbon composite material, this program is intended to demonstrate the ability to fabricate net shape tubular space truss components using co-braided carbon and thermoplastic (PEEK) yarns. The thermoplastic yarn, when processed through an autoclave cure using high pressure and temperature, will fuse the high modulus carbon fibers together to form a rigid finished component. By incorporating the matrix (PEEK yarn) into the triaxial braiding process, to subsequent impregnation step can be eliminated thus resulting in lower costs. The results of this program will provide an automated demonstration of a reproducible thin-walled structural tube. It will also reveal that thermoplastics can be incorporated into braided structures without expensive processing. In addition, the resulting thermoplastic matrix can be thermally treated to allow for post forming and to facilitate attachment to nodes. Commercially, this product would replace conventional epoxy based structures.
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