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Modular Joints for Aircraft Composite Structures

Final Report Summary - MOJO (Modular Joints for Aircraft Composite Structures)

The challenge of the MOJO project was to create synergy between dedicated preformed profiles' infusion and adhesive bonding processes supporting different design principles. The selected principles allow the avoidance of highly demanding integrated components and the reduction of the manufacturing risks.

The MOJO demonstrator is one of the very first representatives aeronautical structures designed for assembly by structural adhesive bonding, which provides damage tolerant characteristics. This closed beam main components have been manufactured with out-of autoclave infusion processes as resin transfer moulding (RTM) for the top and side panels and vacuum assisted resin infusion (VARI) process for the lower panel. Non crimp carbon fabrics (from SAERTEX and CYTEC) and tailored preformed profiles made of high performance textiles (developed by the partners) were used. Considering that structural bonding is the most compatible joining method for composite parts, adhesive processes with both film and paste adhesive have been developed and successfully used for the assembly. The development phases followed the different steps needed for composite manufacturing, i.e. definition of requirements, preformed components preparation, infusion (including tooling), assembly rigs and testing. Testing was performed from the material level to the representative structure level and according the Rouchon Pyramid.

A full size aerospace structure designed to gather all features developed in the MOJO project has been presented as the project's innovation. It has been evaluated from manufacturing to mechanical test (from limit load, through fatigue loading and ultimate loading). A preliminary serial production study and the manufacturing of the demonstrator have shown that respectively 60 % cost savings and 50 % weight savings could be achieved. The applications could well be wings skin stiffened panels, vertical and horizontal tail planes, flap track beams, cargo and pax doors, cargo and pax door surroundings as well as unmanned air vehicles.