JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 24

MANUFACTURlNG automation

closed-cell foam core, commercially-viable
output rates using traditional hand lay-up are
still not high enough to meet the 40-50 parts
per day productivity objective.
Automated lines with AFP and ATP robot
arms are already established technologies for
higher volume manufacturing of composite
parts as part of Industry 4.0. However, the desired production rates using automatization
are only achievable if all material processing
limitations are reduced or avoided. This led
Evonik to participate in two major feasibility
studies, both aiming to develop technically and commercially-viable automated
sandwich technology processes with high
output rates for manufacturing preforms and
finished aircraft-grade carbon fibre/epoxy
sandwich composite parts using Rohacell®
HERO foam core materials.
Robot lay-up preforming project
In 2019, Evonik completed an automated
preforming project with project partners
CTC and DLR Stade. Repeatable carbon/
epoxy prepreg sandwich part preforming
trials were successfully carried out on DVL's
EVo plant, which is a highly-flexible, fully-automated production line.
The EVo plant is fitted with conventional
vacuum gripper robot arms for handling
cut-to-size glass and carbon fibre fabrics,
tapes, lightning strike protection meshes and
foam-core parts.
The results obtained using the EVo plant
to manufacture the Rohacell® HERO
foam-cored preform demonstrated 65% less
mould tool utilization time compared to
manual production.
For aircraft part manufacturers, this effectively doubles production capacity, providing
part output rates that are unachievable with
a honeycomb core using the same tooling, as
seen in Figure 2.
As seen in Figure 3 (a), the EVo plant robot
lay-up trial proved that, using automatization
and Rohacell® HERO as the sandwich foam
core material instead of an equivalent honeycomb core, it is possible to significantly
reduce the overall production steps, time and
costs to manufacture the Dorner 728 nose
landing gear door.
An additional cost benefit highlighted in
the automated preforming trial was that no

24

Fig. 3: (b) Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) or Tape
Laying (ATL) technology process steps for the rapid
production of a sandwich composite aircraft part
[Source: EU CleanSky2 Airframe RACER feasibility
project]

adaptation of the vacuum-supported robot
grabber arms installed on the EVo plant was
necessary. The original vacuum grabbers
were able to accurately pick and place the
machined Rohacell® foam core part, while
significant adaptation would have been
necessary to handle a honeycomb core.
EU CleanSky2 AFP project
Evonik has also been participating in the
Airbus Helicopters EU CleanSky2 Airframe
European research programme, codenamed
RACER (Rapid And Cost-Effective
Rotorcraft), which started back in 2017. The
objective for this Airbus initiative is to develop an innovative new helicopter that can provide the best trade-off between speed, cost
efficiency, sustainability and performance.
Evonik was the core material partner chosen
to work with the AIRBUS Helicopter Group
and Fraunhofer IGCV.
To achieve the CleanSky2 Airframe project
objectives, a RACER demonstrator is
being produced with a number of new
materials and laminate designs, including
a lightweight, low-recurring-cost hybrid
metallic-composite airframe, plus carbon
fibre-reinforced composite shell parts with
integrated sandwich areas to further reduce

	 jec composites magazine / N°136 September - October 2020

weight and improve overall performance.
Rohacell® HERO was recommended by
Evonik as the sandwich core material for the
two airworthy side shell structural sections to
be used on the final assembly of the RACER
demonstrator. The automated sandwich
production trials for the RACER side shell
parts were carried out using the AFP robot
facilities in Fraunhofer IGCV.
The optimization of AFP lay-up technologies
for the rapid integration of carbon fibre-reinforced sandwich areas with a Rohacell®
foam core was successfully demonstrated by
Fraunhofer IGCV.
The results from the CleanSky2 Airframe
project showed the huge manufacturing
potential for the high-speed production of
lightweight carbon fibre/epoxy foam-cored
sandwich parts, with automation providing
significant lead time and cost savings compared to conventional production processes.
A major benefit for the aircraft industry of
having a commercially-viable sandwich integration production process to manufacture
airworthy composite parts is that it allows
aerospace design engineers to continue to
take advantage of the superior lightweight
design and end-use performance advantages
of established sandwich laminate systems
over monolithic designs.
Eliminating in-service MRO problems
In addition to significant processing time,
weight and production cost savings,
Rohacell® HERO also provides significant
in-service MRO (maintenance, repair
and overhaul) advantages and cost saving
benefits compared with a honeycomb-cored
sandwich part.
Skin debonding due to cracking of the epoxy
resin or the potting material is a well-documented MRO problem associated with
honeycomb cores, which does not occur
with a closed-cell foam core.
Cracking leads to water ingress leakage paths
into the open cell cavities of the honeycomb
core. Cracking and water ingress create MRO
issues over time, as after repeated extremes
of temperature that vaporize and freeze any
water in the cavity, the overall structural
integrity of the aircraft component can be
affected to such an extent that it must be
repaired or replaced.



JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020

Cover
Edito
“We can change the way we envision global shipping overall”
Contents
NEWS
In brief
Agenda
BUSINESS
Reinforcement - Natural-fibre composites: an overview
Startup - When 3D printing meets sustainability
China - Xinzhou bets on the bamboo-based composites industry
MANUFACTURING
Wind - lnnovation in wind power through multi-process-capable systems
Automation - Higher production capacity thanks to automated manufacturing
FEATURE Sustainability - The path has been plotted
Recycling ecosystem - Composites recycling: in search of the circular economy
Mobility - A new generation of recycled composite materials for sustainable mobility
Preimpregnated textile - Healable composites to improve circularity
Process - New trends in composites and plastics recycling
Raw materials - Innovative composites made from up to 92% reclaimed materials
Construction - Biocomposites and automation: a sustainable future for the building industry
Ressources - Waste-free composite wheel production
Wind energy - From bottle to blade
Durable composites - Upcycling plastic bottles into value-added composite applications
Matrix - Novel thermoset composites for more competitive and sustainable industries
SOLUTIONS
Aerospace - Slinging rockets into space
Aerospace - Composites push back the final frontier
Railway - Composite overhead line catenary system for light rail
TECHNOLOGY
Repair - Developing an eddy current-based sensor system for quality assurance of carbon fibres
Inside the lab - Advanced Composite Materials Facility University of Southampton
Resin - Development of new type of plastics: Polypropylene 2.0
Index
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JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Edito
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - “We can change the way we envision global shipping overall”
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 5
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Contents
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 7
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - In brief
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 9
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 10
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Agenda
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Reinforcement - Natural-fibre composites: an overview
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 13
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Startup - When 3D printing meets sustainability
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 15
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - China - Xinzhou bets on the bamboo-based composites industry
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 17
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Wind - lnnovation in wind power through multi-process-capable systems
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 19
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 20
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 21
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Automation - Higher production capacity thanks to automated manufacturing
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 23
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 24
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 25
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Recycling ecosystem - Composites recycling: in search of the circular economy
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 27
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 28
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 29
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 30
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Mobility - A new generation of recycled composite materials for sustainable mobility
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 32
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Preimpregnated textile - Healable composites to improve circularity
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 34
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 35
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Process - New trends in composites and plastics recycling
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 37
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Raw materials - Innovative composites made from up to 92% reclaimed materials
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 39
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Construction - Biocomposites and automation: a sustainable future for the building industry
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 41
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Ressources - Waste-free composite wheel production
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 43
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Wind energy - From bottle to blade
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 45
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Durable composites - Upcycling plastic bottles into value-added composite applications
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 47
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Matrix - Novel thermoset composites for more competitive and sustainable industries
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 49
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 50
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Aerospace - Slinging rockets into space
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 52
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 53
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Aerospace - Composites push back the final frontier
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 55
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Railway - Composite overhead line catenary system for light rail
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 57
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 58
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Repair - Developing an eddy current-based sensor system for quality assurance of carbon fibres
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 60
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 61
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Inside the lab - Advanced Composite Materials Facility University of Southampton
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 63
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Resin - Development of new type of plastics: Polypropylene 2.0
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 65
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - Advertisers
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 67
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #136 - September/October 2020 - 68
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