Traditional aircraft structures consist of complex assemblies made from costly machined metallic parts that are fastened together using large quantities of metallic fasteners, labour intensive assembly methods as well as expensive assembly jigs. The requirement for lighter and hence fuel efficient structures has led to a significant increase in the use of composite materials in the latest generation aircraft structures.
For Aerosud to remain a relevant supplier in the aerostructures supply chain, we have over the past number of years invested in a unique manufacturing and tooling technology specifically developed for structural composite parts. This patented technology, known as cellular core technology (CCT™), allows for the manufacture of highly complex assemblies in one single piece thus significantly reducing part count as well as assembly time which in turn reduces overall cost and weight.
The uniqueness of CCT™ is in the tooling methodology used for manufacture of the part. Sacrificial thermoplastic hollow cores together with an outer tool allow for complex structures with multiple internal bays to be produced. This method also results in a smooth surface type finish on the inner surface and a machined surfaces finish on the outer surface of the part. In addition, CCT™ allows for the use of existing qualified materials and process specifications.
To date CCT™ has demonstrated the ability to achieve a reduction in part count of up to 75% together with a weight reduction exceeding 20%. Customers have reported on an estimated cost reduction of up to 30%.