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Advanced heating system and control mode for homogeneous high temperature curing of large composite repairs

Advanced heating system and control mode for homogeneous high temperature curing of large composite repairs

Objective

The required elevation of temperature for curing of composite repairs is usually achieved by resistance heating blankets, controlled through spot temperature measurements. Although this method is simple and works adequately for small repairs, when larger areas are heated, cold or hot spots frequently occur, due to variable heat losses, caused by geometrical asymmetry etc. For this reason, autoclave curing of large repairs is currently used, as the most reliable curing methodology, which is however accompanied by high cost, wastes and energy consumption. The scope of this proposal is to enable the extension of heating blankets technology for the treatment of large repairs (e.g. reversers), currently requiring autoclave heating. A five step process is proposed:a)Thermal transfer simulation, to retrieve the “thermal signature” of the part and experimental validation using heat flux sensors,b)Manufacturing of thermal blankets, namely adapted Variable Heating Elements (VHE), with denser or coarser heating elements inside, and standard Compensation Heating Elements (CHE), in order to compensate for dissimilar heat losses,c)Development of universal Advanced Heating Control Unit (AHCU), with innovative programmable closed loop control,d)Development of a specialized High Power Supply Unit (HPSU,e)Process validation. It is expected that, this innovative methodology will allow the performance of structural repairs, either totally out-of-autoclave or in combination with autoclave treatment, as required, thus improving the overall heating process and achieving large scale economies compared to current autoclave solutions. Given that specified repairs are generally standardized, steps (a) and (b) will only need to be performed once per P/N to be repaired, while the developed equipment described in steps (c) and (d) will be totally reusable, thus significantly decreasing the non-recurring cost encountered per repair.
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Coordinator

GMI AERO SAS

Address

Rue Buffault 9
75009 Paris

France

Activity type

Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)

EU Contribution

€ 129 000

Administrative Contact

Roland Chemama (Mr.)

Participants (1)

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NATIONAL TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS - NTUA

Greece

EU Contribution

€ 36 000

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 271691

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 January 2011

  • End date

    30 June 2012

Funded under:

FP7-JTI

  • Overall budget:

    € 220 000

  • EU contribution

    € 165 000

Coordinated by:

GMI AERO SAS

France