Innovative Approaches to the Fabrication of Composite Helicopter Tail Booms
Small Business Information
1900 Bates Ave., Suite G, Concord, CA, 94520
AbstractCurrent production methods of tail booms for rotary-wing aircraft are expensive, inefficient, and produce hazardous byproducts. Conventional methods for production of high end composite parts are both labor intensive and expensive. Alternate methods, such as curing parts in ovens to eliminate expensive autoclave operations, still do not eliminate the high cost of the tooling that needs to withstand the high temperature cures. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate the effectiveness of using 3-D weaving and innovative electron beam curing of polymer matrix composites for low-cost fabrication of low production rate, high-performance tail booms for Navy and Marine Corp rotary-wing aircraft. By using off-axis 3-D woven fabrics, the composites will have increased tolerance for torsional loads which are critical to helicopter tail booms. Furthermore, electron beam curing is less expensive, faster, safer, and produces higher performing parts then traditional curing techniques.
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