Perforating Composite Materials Using Innovative Process Technologies
Use of composite materials in the Aerospace Industry continues to grow rapidly to achieve reduced weight, structural integrity and fuel efficiency. Engine liners, cowls, blocker doors, and interior aircraft panels are a few examples where perforations are needed allowing air, heat and/or sound to transfer thru them. Perforating these materials presents a challenge for processes such as CNC, Waterjet or Laser drilling, which can impart stresses, loose fibers, burrs and delamination of composite layers. A unique blend of two well-known technologies has been developed to eliminate these issues offering benefits not possible with conventional processes. Technically advanced imageable films combined with dry abrasive machining can easily perforate any size or shaped feature in composite materials. Surface and internal analysis of composites confirm this process to be a major technology breakthrough. A recent NASA study concluded perforating acoustic liners with slots vs. holes, oriented perpendicular to the direction of air flow, significantly reduces drag without degrading acoustical benefits. This paper will show comparisons between various perforation processes for composites; review independent labs’ study data; and, discuss more specifics about the inner workings of this unique perforation method. Samples will be shown illustrating the use of this process in real world applications.
Author: Vince Liberi and Tim Bergstrom
Conference: SAMPE Seattle 2017