30 March 2011
The EADS Technology Licensing initiative has expanded its portfolio with composites manufacturing methods and techniques that further enhance the capabilities of EADS’ patented Vacuum Assisted Process (VAP®).
These new licensing opportunities were unveiled at the JEC Composites exposition in Paris, where EADS is spotlighting the company’s broad expertise in the design, development and production of composite structures.
Benefits of the automated performing machine available for technology licensing include reduced forming time, increased working speed and higher quality through automation.
“This is an excellent example of how EADS builds on its proven leading-edge technologies by offering them to a wider industrial base,” said Wulf Hoeflich, who leads the EADS Technology Licensing initiative. “VAP was developed by our Cassidian division with EADS Innovation Works, and the technology has been ‘cross-fertilized’ within the company – which, in turn, has resulted in the development of associated manufacturing methods and processes that are now available for licensing.”
One of the production methods offered by the EADS Technology Licensing initiative is an automatic preforming machine for large beams and curved frames, which was developed at Airbus’ Nantes, France facility. With its automatic manufacture of dry fibre preforms, the machine enables a more rapid cycling of temperature along with an increased working speed.
The machine is able to reduce forming time by 20 percent, and is well suited in high-performance manufacturing processes for composite parts made with the resin transfer moulding (RTM) process. Applications include the aerospace, automobile and rail industries.
Also offered by the EADS Technology Licensing initiative is a high-performance binding process for perform structures. The process involves methods in which multi-layer tailored fibre placement (TFP) performs of any thickness can easily be produced without fixing fibres or unwanted support layers. Applications for this process – which is covered by a patent from Airbus’ Stade, Germany production site – include highly-loaded structures and those with complex geometries.
The third technology available for licensing is a caul plate for improved-quality manufacturing of parts made with the resin infusion process in vacuum. It involves the use of a metal or composite plate moulded to the surface shape of the production part, with calibrated holes drilled on the surface to improve the preform’s degassing during the resin infusion.
Use of the caul plate is tailored for high-performance manufacturing in applications that range from automotive and aerospace to shipbuilding and wind turbine blades. The caul plate concept was evolved by Airbus in Nantes.
See our related coverage from this week’s JEC Composites exhibition in Paris:
|A “fast-track” look at licensed technology for composites||29 March 2011|
|EADS composites licensing opportunities at the JEC exhibition in Paris||25 March 2011|
• Learn more about the EADS Technology Licensing initiatives’ achievements and activities with the archived news stories.