JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 33

its leading prepreg supplier, as part of a
win/win approach. To start this development plan, Airbus Helicopters focused
on 120°C class epoxy resins. This type of
prepreg is widely used in the aerospace
industry.
On top of the above-mentioned improvements, such rationalization would
allow additional savings considering all
management costs (inventory, scrap due
to expiry dates, obsolescence, etc.). Thus,
a "dream specification" for a new 120°C
class prepreg was defined (see Table 1).

Fig. 2: Technology readiness level of prepreg technology
Tab. I: The "120°C class prepreg dream specification"

Requirement

Functionnalities

- Self-adhesion
- Flame resistant

Performance

- Hot wet Tg>100°C

Manufacturing
process

- Out of autoclave (OoA)
and autoclave
- Easy lay-up (tackiness)
- Extended life in workshop
(shelf life)

Health,
safety,
environment

- REACH compliance
- No CMR3 (substances with
limited evidence of a
carcinogenic effect)
- Easy lay-up (tackiness)
- Extended life in workshop
(shelf life)

Robustness

- Sustainable ingredients
and process
- Reliable supply chain

Cost

- Competitive price

that could "do it all" at the same cost.
This paper focuses on the example of the
"120°C class prepreg dream specification" (see Table 1).

A breakthrough in prepreg
technology: the "120°C class
prepreg dream specification"
A few years ago, the aerospace industry
initiated a rationalization programme
to manage obsolescence risks in order
to cope with these costly qualifications.
This approach was led by Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) within
the Obsolescence Group of GIFAS

The need for "out of autoclave" materials
is increasingly widespread in specifications for the aerospace industry, particularly for Airbus Helicopters, in order
to match the ramp-up of current major
programmes regardless of the supplier.
Large parts can be manufactured by
subcontractors cost efficiently without
autoclaves.

When a dream becomes reality
On the basis of this specification, Hexcel
screened a large number of formulations to try and match the required
characteristics. Each screening step was
associated with a prototype validation
step in order to evaluate, in workshop
conditions, the lay-up ability, the surface
aspect and the laminate quality.
To compare the formulations with current standards and to produce demonstrator parts, Airbus Helicopters then
developed a "training mould" incorporating the main shapes and difficulties
one can find in such prepreg parts (e.g.
ability to process sandwich parts with

Fig. 3: Training mould used to validate new
prepregs

No89 May 2014 /

Feature Aeronautics

Feature

(Group of French Aeronautic and Space
Industries).
As a first rationalization step, Airbus
Helicopters had already reduced the
number of prepreg systems used to
fifteen products compared to more
than twenty only five years ago. But the
further rationalization of all products was
not so simple. Using such a high number
of resin systems was necessary to cover
all the needs of helicopter operations/
missions (military, offshore, etc.) and to
take into account increasingly demanding requirements.
An analysis of these fifteen prepregs was
undertaken, highlighting a wide range
of very specific characteristics. Some
prepregs are used for lightweight sandwich structures (very thin skins) with
self-adhesive properties and standard
mechanical performance (such as rotor
cap fairings, see Figure 5). Other types of
prepreg are used for mechanical/dynamic parts (e.g. rotor hub and sleeves)
that require higher performance in terms
of fatigue behaviour.
Such a wide range of performance
characteristics was not achievable with
just one standard prepreg formulation.
For instance, temperature performance
is lower when self-adhesion and flame
resistance are combined (due to the
introduction of a specific filler). A
breakthrough was necessary to overcome
this issue.
None of the existing prepreg systems
were able to replace the current range, so
Airbus Helicopters implemented a "development plan" together with Hexcel,

jec composites magazine 33



JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014

Cover
Edito
Point of view: volume production
Contents
COMPANY & BUSINESS In Brief
MEA
Agenda of Events
APPLICATIONS
Race car
E-helicopter
Pipes
Consumer goods
MARKET
Brazil
U.S.
WPC
FEATURE AERONAUTICS
Integration
CMC
Prepregs
CAE
Design
Equipment
Structure
Interview
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Infusion
Process
TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATIONS
Automotive
Tow placement
Core materials
Index
In the world
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Edito
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Point of view: volume production
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 5
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Contents
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 7
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - COMPANY & BUSINESS In Brief
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Agenda of Events
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - MEA
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 11
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Ad1
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Ad2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Race car
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 13
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 14
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - E-helicopter
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Pipes
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 17
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Consumer goods
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 19
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Brazil
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 21
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - U.S.
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - WPC
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 24
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 25
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 26
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Integration
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 28
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - CMC
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 30
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 31
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Prepregs
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 33
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 34
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - CAE
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 36
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Design
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 38
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 39
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Equipment
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 41
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Structure
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 43
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Interview
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 45
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 46
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Infusion
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 48
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 49
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 50
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Process
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 52
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 53
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Automotive
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 55
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 56
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 57
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 58
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 59
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Tow placement
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 61
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 62
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Core materials
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 64
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - Index
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - In the world
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 67
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #89 - May 2014 - 68
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