Orthogrid Thermoplastic Composite Butt Joint Stiffened Panel with Welded Frames
A. Offringa, Fokker Aerostructures, Hoogeveen, The Netherlands
A thermoplastic composite skin panel, featuring butt jointed stiffeners, is welded to frames. The application envisioned is aircraft fuselage structure. Welding substitutes currently used bolted assembly for skin-to-frame joints, reducing cost and weight. Panel cost is further reduced over state-of-the-art composite fuselage panels because the butt jointed stiffeners are simple flat preforms, placed in a tool in which the panel is co-melted. These butt joints are only possible because of the toughness of thermoplastic matrices such as PEKK. Cost of a thermoplastic butt joint is lower than that of conventional panel-to-stiffener joints due to the use of only simple,
flat stiffener preforms and low cost injection molded radius fillers. No forming of stiffener preforms or complex layup is required. The use of thermoplastic composites offers a weight advantage because of material toughness. Also, the butt joint makes stiffener laminate definition independent from that of skins, allowing for low-weight design. The panel is recyclable.
ITHEC 2014 Manuscript C3
Publication date: 01/04/2015
Manuscript C3 published in Conference Proceedings ITHEC 2014
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