SAMPE Journal - September/October 2012 - (Page 8)

Feature Article Prepreg Non-Autoclave Manufacturing Technology: Program Overview and Co-Cure Enablers for Disruptive, Pervasive Use G.G. Bond, G.L. Hahn, K.M. Jost The Boeing Company,Berkeley, MO T. Storage Air Force Research Laboratory, Dayton, OH Abstract In 2007, Non-Autoclave Manufacturing Technology was initiated by a Boeing-led team and the U.S. Government (DARPA) under the guidance of the Air Force to enable disruptive, pervasive use of vacuum-bag-only prepreg for reduced recurring cost and cycle time for primary composite structures. This paper will provide a program overview as well as focusing specifically on composite co-curing technology out of the autoclave. Composite co-cures can be complicated and difficult to repeatedly produce with high quality. Factors that can contribute to these difficulties include autoclave pressure and the flow of the resin. By moving to out-of-autoclave systems, improvements in quality by reducing pressure and resin flow are achievable. Through the DARPA/ Boeing co-funded, Air Force guided program Non-Autoclave Manufacturing Technology, two different co-cure designs were evaluated. The first was an existing production co-cure utilizing production tooling and engineering but substituting Cytec’s toughened epoxy non-autoclave system 5320-1 for the baseline autoclave system. The second non-autoclave co-cure was a new design for a cooling outer aft duct (COAD) that utilized a novel large-scale tooling concept for the co-cured stiffeners. Non-destructive evaluation (ultrasonic inspection) and visual inspection were conducted on both co-cured structures and demonstrated that reduced resin flow and pressure during cure does improve some aspects of co-cure quality. Introduction The Non-Autoclave Manufacturing Technology Program was introduced at the Society of Materials and Processing Engineering (SAMPE) Technical Conference in 20081, and an update was provided at the SAMPE Fall Technical Conference in 20102. It is a program jointly accomplished by a Boeing-led team and the U.S. Government (DARPA) under the guidance of the Air Force. The program specifically addresses the following goals: •Autoclave-like properties with an initial cure temperature of 93°C (200°F) with vacuum pressure only and a free-standing post cure at 177°C (350°F) •Reduced cost/span time tooling family for use in 10-25 units •Processing and tooling to match production, because the tooling concepts used in development are also production-worthy The initial program accomplished its milestones in February 2009. As a result of accelerated milestone completion, promising manufacturing demonstrations, and high technical quality, additional effort was exercised in calendar year 2009 (Figure 1). The Air Force Non-Autoclave Manufacturing Technology Program and Related Efforts This paper will provide an overview of the program which primarily deals with the hand layup of the CYCOM®5320 and CYCOM®5320-1 families of out-of-autoclave processed toughened epoxy prepregs and associated processing/manufacturing technology development. This paper contains an overview of the work under the original Phase 1 program (July 2007 – January 2010) and the expanded effort which was authorized in 2009 and which runs into 2012 as well Phase 1 • Non-autoclave manufacturing technology for polymer matrix prepreg composite structures-including compatible material family, processes, tooling equipment, and design guidelines. • Non-autoclave processed material met dimensional/geometric needs, achieved autoclave-like primary structure quality with fewer pressure-driven defects. • Subcomponent and full size hat stiffened skins and 11.6 m (38 ft) wing spar successfully fabricated and evaluated. • Tooling guidelines published; approaches passed thermal cycling evaluation. Additional Effort • Scale up to large structures (more than 15m (50ft). • Implement high modulus fiber/toughened resin prepregs. • Demonstrate that there in no reduction in properties. • Use materials/processes for integrated structures • Build flight-worthy primary structure. The developments in this program enable the use of the same materials and processes for both development and production, mitigation risks frequently realized in program life cycles at maturation to production. Figure 1. Program objectives. 8 SAMPE Journal, Volume 48, No. 5, September/October 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SAMPE Journal - September/October 2012

SAMPE Journal - September/October 2012
President’s Message
SAMPE Journal Editorial Calender
Technical Director’s Corner
Prepreg Non-Autoclave Manufacturing Technology: Program Overview and Co-Cure Enablers for Disruptive, Pervasive Use
Welcome SAMPE’s Newest Members
Materials & Products
SAMPE Tech 2012|Charleston, SC
SAMPE Proceedings
Perspectives- Taking Material Science To The Next Frontier: Models Of Past Material Innovations And How They May Impact The 21st Century
Europe News & Views
SAMPE Europe’s SETEC 2012, Lucerne, Switzerland
SAMPE Europe’s SEICO 2013, Paris, France
SAMPE 2013|Long Beach Call for Papers
Industry News
Approach to Optimizing a Combined Out-of-Autoclave (OOA) Prepreg/Liquid Composite Molding (LCM) Process for Integrated Structures
SAMPE LinkedIn Communities
Corporate Partners
The SAMPE Foundation
Tech Tidbits
SAMPE Upcoming Events
Face-Sheet Quality Analysis and Thermo- Physical Property Characterization of OOA and Autoclave Panels
Advertiser’s Index
Resource Center
SAMPE Membership Application
SAMPE Books & CD’s Order Form
Industry Events Calendar
Chapter Meetings Dates and Contacts

SAMPE Journal - September/October 2012