Comparison of Various Braiding Technologies for Composite Materials in Aerospace Applications 2001-01-2626
Composite materials offer a high potential for realizing high performance light weight structures for aerospace applications. The recent developments are focussed on the further improvements of mechanical performance, especially regarding damage tolerance, and above all on affordabilty.
A high potential to reach this goals is offered by textile structural composites. Textile fibre performs for composite reinforcement can be manufactured automatically with an optimized fibre architecture in 3D space. The results are reduced manufacturing time and a 3D fibre reinforcement to prevent delaminations during impact loads.
Of special interest for complex structural components are braiding technologies allowing the automated production of near net shaped fibre preforms. Two different technologies will be described and discussed in the paper: The robot assisted round braiding and the 3D braiding. Both technologies have been developed by the EADS research center together with several partners in the framework of internal and public funded projects. First prototypes are now available in the EADS textile lab at Ottobrunn (Munich, Germany) and can be used for basic investigations and first application studies.
While the round braiding allows the production of complex hollow preforms (curved or non-curved) the 3D braiding has a high potential for realizing integral profile shaped structures with optimized fibre architecture.
In the paper the overall performance of textile structural composites based on braiding will be evaluated and first exemplary applications, especially in the aerospace field will be presented (stiffened profiles, engine components). Finally, the recent developments also in combination with other textile technologies like stitching will be discussed.