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Application of tailored fibre placement technology in integral composite structures for ultra-lightweight space applications


The project is intended to investigate feasibility of applying the tailored fibre placement (TFP) technology for design and manufacturing of composite structural parts for space applications.

One structural element commonly used in load carrying structures for space is the strut. Struts attachment fittings have been impossible to manufacture with lightweight FRP (fibre reinforced polymer) materials due to limitations of the FRP manufacturing technologies. State-of-the-art is therefore a CFRP tube with bonded metallic fittings.

With the recent evolvement of TFP technologies in terrestrial applications, Space Structures is convinced that it is possible to manufacture and qualify fully integral CFRP struts, including CFRP fittings, for space applications.

The TFP strut product targets 3 areas of concern to our customers, the space industry:
• Ultra-lightweight, due to replacement of metallic fittings, with CFRP and maximum efficiency carbon fibre orientation and continuity along the load paths
• Cost and manufacturing time reduction, due to cheaper material, manufacturing automation and simplification of processes
• Environmental friendly. Smaller footprint because the energy intensive manufacturing and chemical bonding of metallic fittings is removed from the process. Ultra-light structures also reduce the propellant consumption during launch of space vehicles.

By using the most innovative technology for CFRP manufacturing, all aspects of the product are improved and consequently the worldwide commercial potential is immense, ultimately redefining the state-of-the-art.

The feasibility study in phase 1 will investigate if this type of structure can be designed to meet space requirements and will conclude with the manufacturing of a prototype. A feasibility report and a business plan for the product will be delivered.

A potential phase 2 will aim at achieving space qualification by extensive testing, a prerequisite to enable market access.

Call for proposal

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Fanny-zobel-strasse 11
12435 Berlin
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 50 000