Browse Publications Technical Papers 2007-01-3795

Lug Cutting and Trimming of the Carbon Fibre Wing Panels of the Airbus A400m with Portable Hand Positioned Tools 2007-01-3795

The Airbus A400m has carbon fibre wing panels on both the upper and lower surfaces. When manufactured, these panels come supplied with various lugs on the periphery of the panel. Some are used for lifting the panel, some are used for indexing the panel; however, all lugs must be removed at some time during wing build. Lug thickness varies from 4mm to 14mm; in addition, many lugs must be cut to a 2D profile rather than just straight. The main challenge of the project was to deliver a tool that was small, portable and compact, but that could also accurately slot thick carbon fibre panels, without de-lamination, leaving a good surface finish. The solution was an air powered routing hand tool that was mechanically guided along a 2D path using a cam profile. Special diamond grit cutters were used to cut the initial slot and reduce the machining forces to a bare minimum, with the finishing cut done using a PCD router bit to obtain a good surface finish.


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