Innovative Approaches for Improving the Hot/Wet Performance of Polyimide Matrix Composites
Department of Defense
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AbstractThe development of AFR-PE-4E polyimide composites has enabled the incorporation of high-temperature composite structures in military jet engines. The use of these composite components significantly reduces weight and results in increased engine performance. In order to take full advantage of this “new” composite system, an increase in the hot/wet performance of the AFR-PE-4E resin system must be achieved with minimal scatter in the design allowable database. Current F135 and F136 engine systems slated for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) require composite ducts that could total up to 300 pounds per engine. AFR-PE-4E composite has been selected for these structures and this will require a continuous service temperature in excess of 316ºC (600ºF) while retaining maximum physical strength. By combining Maverick’s innovative technology and experienced resources with GE Aviation, Pratt & Whitney, and Vought Aircraft, a strong technical team has been established to accelerate the development of an “improved” version of AFR-PE-4E polyimide resin for aggressive engine environments. The hot/wet performance and processing characteristics will be determined for each new candidate resin. By using a team approach, a successful Maverick Phase I SBIR program will provide “novel”AFR-PE-4E technology that will have a rapid path of insertion onto the JSF platform.
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