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Design Innovation Paper

Additive manufacturing of structural cores and washout tooling for autoclave curing of hybrid composite structures

[+] Author and Article Information
Daniel-Alexander Türk

Product Development Group Zürich, Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland; Graduate Aerospace Laboratories, California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
dturk@caltech.edu

Andreas Ebnöther

Product Development Group Zürich, Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
ebnoether_92@bluewin.ch

Markus Zogg

Inspire AG, Technoparkstrasse 1, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland
zogg@inspire.ethz.ch

Mirko Meboldt

Product Development Group Zürich, Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
meboldtm@ethz.ch

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4040428 History: Received December 20, 2017; Revised May 19, 2018

Abstract

This paper presents a study combining additive manufactured (AM) elements with carbon fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRP) for the autoclave curing of complex-shaped, lightweight structures. Two approaches were developed: First, structural cores were produced with AM, over-laminated with CFRP, and co-cured in the autoclave. Second, a functional hull is produced with AM, filled with a temperature- and pressure-resistant material, and over-laminated with CFRP. After curing, the filler-material is removed to obtain a hollow lightweight structure. The approaches were applied to hat-stiffeners, which were modeled, fabricated and tested in three-point bending. Results show weight savings by up to 5% compared to a foam core reference. Moreover, the AM element contributes to the mechanical performance of the hat-stiffener which is highlighted by an increase in the specific bending stiffness and the first failure load by up to 18% and 310%. Results indicate that the approaches are appropriate for composite structures with complex geometries.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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