Features

Aircraft composites repair moves toward maturity
New technologies seek to address the challenges MROs will increasingly face in the age of commercial airliners with composite airframes.

Editorial

Drinking from the firehose at JEC
Editor-in-chief Jeff Sloan offers his takeaways from JEC World 2016.

By the Numbers

Gardner Business Index at 50.8 in February
New orders, production and future business expectations go up as small- and medium-sized fabricators see welcome expansion.

Composites: Perspectives and Provocations

Can we make recycled carbon fiber “sexy”?
Although we have methods to create useful product forms from recovered fiber, creating demand for those products will require new entrepreneurial effort.

Composites: Past, Present and Future

The composites super cycle — are we still living the dream?
Predicted before the 2008 recessionary crash, the super cycle’s foundations were to be built on an increasing use of composites in aircraft. How did it play out?

Composites: Trends

Molding with compression? Choose wisely you must
For those in the market for a compression molding machine — either to replace an aging machine or to add new capability — must be prepared to answer serious questions about the material and application for which it will be molded.

Composites: Design & Testing

Notched testing of composites
Open-hole test methods were developed in the early 1980s to compare toughness increases in new composite materials.

Inside Manufacturing

Automated filament winding enables competitive composite cylinders
Carefully controlled, robust, volume processes offer fabricators of Class IV LPG/CNG tanks a means to meet increasing demand in Europe and Asia.

Applications

Pultrusions provide composite thermal break
Army hospital combats Alaskan cold with FRP shapes/fasteners.

Focus on Design

Large portable antenna goes lightweight with conductive composites
CFRP matches metal performance at one-third the weight thanks to innovative materials and precision manufacturing.

Products and Literature

· Assembly Guidance real-time AFP inspection system

· CompoSIDE design software upgraded

· Hanser book highlights prepreg materials

· Intertronics methyl methacrylate adhesives

· Oerlikon Leybold lab-scale vacuum system

· Pro-Set high-capacity epoxy pumps

Sidebar

Aircraft composites repair: Plasma’s potential for better bonds
Plasma treatment might be a key enabling technology in the pursuit of certification-worthy, fastener-free adhesively bonded repair patches applied to aircraft primary structure.

Work in Progress

Low-density SMC: Better living through chemistry
Proprietary sizing, special glass roving and microspheres strip 9 kilos of weight from Corvette body panels.