Dow-United Technologies Composite Products Inc. has developed a patented process for using braided composites to make jet engine thrust reversers, the devices that slow aircraft during landing. In the past, the primary section of the reversers, cascades, was made from magnesium castings or from aluminum, making the multi-part structures comparatively heavy and susceptible to fatigue or stress failure at critical points. The Dow-UT process uses braided carbon fibers and resins to create a much lighter part with substantially greater strength at the joints. In addition, the part comes off the assembly line as a single component, reducing ultimate assembly requirements, according to Lawrence Varholak, Dow-UT vice president, engineering and technology. The patent represents an enhancement of Dow-UT's Advanced Resin Transfer Molding (AdvRTM(TM)) process. FAX (203) 949-5009.
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