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  • CFRP Infusion Processing on Large-Scale Cylindrical Structures

    Paper number



    Mr. Reinhold Pernpeintner, MAN Technologie AG, Germany


    Mrs. Angelika Fröhlich, MAN Technologie AG, Germany


    Mr. Torsten Lorenz, Switzerland



    In 2003 MAN Technologie AG has manufactured a large-scale CFRP (Carbon Fibre Re-enforced Plastic) cylinder-element (diameter 3m, length 2,5m, wall thickness up to 40mm) representing a model of the solid propellant motor cases (boosters) for the European heavy-lift launcher ARIANE 5. Manufacturing as well as inspection demonstrated that an infusion process under vacuum can be transferred successfully to large-scale cylindrical elements.	
    Based on this first development approach, MAN Technologie manufactured in 2004 a second demonstrator of a booster case segment in a "one shot" CFRP infusion process integrally with dome and skirt. The infusion process (technically well known for quasi 2-dimensional parts) has been redefined and adapted to a circumferentially closed, cylindrical structure (wrapping over a mandrel) with its axial- and hoop-layer stacking. The process has been extended enabling the integration of a 3-dimensional curved dome and the related skirt, as well. 
    The polar opening (for the later booster igniter with a diameter of 0,6m) has been achieved by means of cross layers of continuous fibre bands at a specific angle. The lay-up of the skirt was applied on top of the combined cross layers of cylinder and dome, using an additional tool as mandrel. Finally, the axial and hoop layers for cylinder and skirt were wrapped in a stacking according to strength and stiffness analysis. The completed dry fabric preform - cylinder, dome and skirt - was infiltrated with resin under vacuum in "one shot" and subsequently cured in a common industrial furnace at ambient pressure, avoiding the need of an autoclave.
    The presented paper reports about interesting aspects of the manufacturing sequence of both models. The benefits and drawbacks of the selected infusion process are compared to conventional CFRP manufacturing techniques regarding technical and cost aspects. The potentials for extrapolating the infusion technique to other large-scaled components of spacecrafts, aircrafts, and terrestric-based equipment are addressed.
    Abstract document


    Manuscript document

    IAC-05-C2.1.A.04.pdf (🔒 authorized access only).

    To get the manuscript, please contact IAF Secretariat.