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Wickert Maschinenbau GmbH (Landau, Germany) will be presenting a complete inner core door frame molded using the resin transfer molding (RTM) for the Airbus A 350 at this year's Composites Europe 2013 to be held 17-18 September at Messe Stuttgart in Germany. The highly stressable carbon fiber composite component is manufactured at Eurocopter in Donauwörth, Germany.

August 22, 2013

2 Min Read
Airbus airplane door frame goes composite route

Wickert Maschinenbau GmbH (Landau, Germany) will be presenting a complete inner core door frame molded using the resin transfer molding (RTM) for the Airbus A 350 at this year's Composites Europe 2013 to be held 17-18 September at Messe Stuttgart in Germany. The highly stressable carbon fiber composite component is manufactured at Eurocopter in Donauwörth, Germany. This procedure makes it possible to produce structural components with comparatively high fiber volume content and good impact properties, while slimming down on weight at the same time.

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The door inner core element for the Airbus A 350, manufactured in an RTM injection process with the WKP 2500 S Composite Press.

Manufacturing is via an injection process that uses the Wickert WKP 2500 S Composite Press based on the proven modular system found in Wickert downstroke presses. Because the carbon parts cannot be exposed to even a hint of oil mist, the hydraulic press system was required to be absolutely oil-tight. This was achieved by completely enclosing the press area and the entire press technology peripheral system, including the hydraulic and electric systems.

The press, which has a clamping force of 2500 kN, features an upper and a lower mold, each permanently installed. The clamping plates measure 2400 x 1800 mm. The control and process visualization integrates the injector, heating/cooling system and press shuttle. The latter handles the fully automatic fitting with the center mold, which is fed from "high-bay storage," and also the return transport after the process. The cycle time is around 6 hours per airplane door, which is faster than fabricating it from aluminum.

As is customary in the aerospace industry, comprehensive data acquisition and detailed documentation of the manufacturing process, including tracking through all operator actions, are included.

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