1990-09-01

Development and Testing of a Lightweight Fireproof Composite Structure 901981

Composites have shown considerable promise as effective materials for containing engine fires. However, most proposed designs require the use of costly materials integrated into assemblies which are difficult to fabricate and are of limited practical application where complex geometries are involved.This paper addresses the design and testing of a simple uninsulated composite sandwich structure fabricated from relatively low cost materials which can withstand a 2000°F 15 minute FAA fire test. The materials used can be configured to almost any complex shape using standard layup techniques. Backside temperatures are less than 300°F, hence the structure can retain its approximate original shape and withstand reduced stress levels during and after fire exposure. This design concept can be used for load bearing structures which must maintain a certain degree of structural integrity after exposure to a fire and for engine compartment fire barriers. The ability to maintain a low backside temperature during a fire provides the additional advantage of eliminating the fire resistant requirement for equipment in close proximity to a firewall.

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