Self-Configuring Hybrid Duct System and Attachment Technologies for Environmental Control Systems 2009-01-3277
Environmental Control Systems (ECS) ducts on airplanes are primarily fabricated from aluminum or thermoset composites, depending on temperature and pressure requirements. It is imperative to fabricate lightweight, cost effective, durable, and repairable systems with minimal tooling. It is also important that the duct systems are easy to assemble even with alignment issues resulting from structural variations, tolerance accumulation, variation from thermal expansion of different materials, and inherent duct stiffness. These requirements create an opportunity and need for a technology that can address all of these issues, while increasing performance at the same time.
This report provides a background on current ECS ducting systems. It also introduces a new, innovative duct system technology and self-torquing attachment system for use in high temperature and pressure systems with the following characteristics:
less than half the weight of current systems it is replacing,
self-compensating (i.e. flexibility to conform to specific assembly configurations and accommodates factors such as structural variability and expansion), and
inherent vibration and noise dampening capabilities.
This new technology meets the stringent FAA regulatory flammability and smoke density requirements, and can be used in over 700 aircraft system applications such as: Ram Air, Avionics Cooling, Trim Air, De-icing, Pressurization, Flight Deck Cooling, APU intake and exhaust, Cargo Heating, Passenger Service Unit, and Cabin Air Conditioning.