Honeycomb cores have also been used in aerospace carbon fiber composites, such as the structure and blades of Sikorsky Aircraft's S-97 RAIDER helicopters and, reportedly, in the shell of Virgin Galactics' SpaceShip Two. A similar honeycomb sandwich structure is used in some parts of Boeing 787's Dreamliner.
The new material's honeycomb core is covered on both its top and bottom with glass fiber mats, then sprayed with the Baypreg system, which contains a flame retardant and may optionally also contain cut glass fibers. The component is placed in a compression mold while it is still moist and is pressed at a temperature of 130°C. The polyurethane system foams slightly and binds the components together. After about two minutes, the part can be removed from the mold and deburred.
Components as large as four square meters in area can be produced, yet they have excellent dimensional stability, allowing the parts to be installed in the final assembly with a high level of precision. "By using this new material, we can reduce the component’s weight by over 35 percent -- and cut costs by 30 percent," said Jan Kuppinger, a Fraunhofer ICT scientist, in a press release.
Bayer's Baypreg spray system has been used in automotive applications for producing panorama roof modules, spare tire covers, and the floor of a car's trunk. The team optimized the standard fiber spraying manufacturing process by developing a mixing chamber that allows more complex structures to be produced in any required size. The prototype diesel engine housing measures approximately 4.5 meters long and more than 2 meters wide.
The diesel engine housing prototype was produced as part of the PURtrain project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The prototype has passed its first strength test; the next step is field tests. If the prototype passes those tests, the team expects the material to also be useful in applications such as roof segments, side flaps, and wind deflectors for automobiles and commercial vehicles.
Ok, so it's jumbled, but that's the point. We've heard so much about the use of composites in the automotive sector and in aerospace, even with large-scale boats and yachts, but not so much in trains. Improved access to more efficient and cost-effective mass transportation is equally as important as alternative energy sources and lightweighting vehicles as part of green energy strategies. This is a cool development. Any big deals yet for the technology?
A recent report sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) focuses on emerging gasification technologies for converting waste into energy and fuel on a large scale and saving it from the landfill. Some of that waste includes non-recycled plastic.
Capping a 30-year quest, GE Aviation has broken ground on the first high-volume factory for producing commercial jet engine components from ceramic matrix composites. The plant will produce high-pressure turbine shrouds for the LEAP Turbofan engine.
Seismic shifts in 3D printing materials include an optimization method that reduces the material needed to print an object by 85 percent, research designed to create new, stronger materials, and a new ASTM standard for their mechanical properties.
A recent study finds that 3D printing is both cheaper and greener than traditional factory-based mass manufacturing and distribution. At least, it's true for making consumer plastic products on open-source, low-cost RepRap printers.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.