NCAMP updates composites material qualification efforts

The National Center for Advanced Materials Performance at the National Institute for Aviation Research has created draft documents for Renegade Materials' MVK-14 Polyimide FreeForm T650 3K qualification.

The National Center for Advanced Materials Performance (NCAMP) at the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR, Wichita, Kan., USA) has reported that draft documents for Renegade Materials' (Springboro, Ohio, USA) MVK-14 Polyimide FreeForm T650 3K qualification (sponsored by the U.S. Air Force Research Lab) have been created and are being reviewed by program participants. Canyon Composites (Anaheim, Calif., USA) will fabricate the qualification test panels.

Several aerospace companies will participate in the equivalency program including ATK Aerospace Structures, ATK Mission Research, BAE Systems, Bell Helicopter, Composites Horizons, GE Aviation, General Dynamics ATP, Goodrich AeroStructures, Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney and Spirit AeroSystems.

This program will generate basic lamina and laminate material properties from three batches of material at dry and wet conditions ranging from -65°F/-54°C to 550°F/288°C. Other standard tests include prepreg physical, laminate physical and thermal, out-time and shelf-life, and fluid sensitivity screening such as aviation fuel, jet fuel, hydraulic oils, engine oils, MEK solvent and deicing fluids. The material will also be evaluated after thermal cycling and thermal oxidation conditions. The data generated under this program, including the material and process specifications, are subject to export control under Department of Defense Distribution Statement X.

NCAMP is preparing for its next round of material selection. The U.S. Air Force Research Lab will fund NCAMP to qualify more materials into its shared material property database. Funds are available to qualify two prepreg resin systems (two product forms for each resin system). NCAMP is particularly interested in prepreg resin systems with the following characteristics: Out-of-autoclave cure medium toughness epoxy; high toughness epoxy system; a minimum of 180°F/82°C wet operating temperature; easy to process; high Mode I Interlaminar Fracture Toughness; demonstrated robustness in producing large panels with bend radius, ply drop-offs, thick and thin sections and integral stiffeners typically found in aircraft airframe structures; demonstrated robustness in co-cure/ co-bond applications; matured resin formulation and prepregging operation by October 2009 (i.e. able to lock down PCD under revision control by October 2009 to begin prepreg production); able to develop a robust cure cycle and test panel process specification by November 2009. The prepregs will be manufactured by early next year and the test panels will be due by the second quarter of 2010.  The testing programs are scheduled to be complete by the first quarter of 2011.

Information: Visit the NCAMP site for details about materials testing and qualification.