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Out of autoclave processes development for composite frames manufacturing with high production rate and low cost.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - COFRARE 2.0 (Out of autoclave processes development for composite frames manufacturing with high production rate and low cost.)

Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2017-06-30

The main project bjectives are to carry out process development for composite frames manufacturing with high production rate and low cost.
The main key drivers for achieving this objective are as follows:
1.- To assess of Out of Autoclave processes and Downselection: Liquid Resin Infusion (LRI) and Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM).
2.- Reduction of weight when compared to a traditional metallic frame.
3.- Reduction of manufacturing costs.
4.- To carry out the frame demonstrator manufacturing.
"The main milestone completed in the first year of the project have been:

a) Selection of the suitable materials for RTM and LI processes such as Hexcel RTM6 for resin and Seartex FC NCF-090416 as fiber.

b) Processes trials completation: quality and geometry tolerances are better achieved in RTM process. LRI cycle time is 50% higher than RTM due to vacuum bag positioning and vacuum leak testing.

c) Life Cost analisys at preliminary level completed: the 2 manufacturing technology (RTM vs LRI) for a defined shape (“C” vs “Z” shape) have been evaluated against a complex and multiple business case scenario provided by the TM. Considering a 4% discount rate and the hypotheses done for the specific purposes it is shows the additional costs in absolute and percentage value of the three expensive alternatives compared to the cost-effective solution, which is the RTM section Type C.

d) Level 1 Lamina Testing: in accordance with the quality results, an higher deviation it was discovered on LRI properties than the RTM one. In general Modulus and Strength of RTM coupons are higher than LRI.

e) Level 2 and Level 3 Test Design completed with a design of 3.8mm meaning 10 plies of NCF.

By the achievent of these results milestone M1 is in closure promoting only ""C"" shape with RTM process for next phase.
"
Considering the previous main milestone achieved, the Consortium has now the design allowable at lamina level to complete the design of the frame.
This is a tangible step forward in the knowledge of the 2 processes that will be validated with Level 2 and Level 3 testing.

The main impacts are still under evaluation also considering the data provided in the LCCA. It is also expected to confirm the project aeronautical impact such as weight and cost reduction by using the most appropriate out-of-autoclave composite process.