AUG 2018


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NEWS 29 5 After finishing, a wingskin and stringers undergo nondestructive inspection operations. 6 The front and rear spars of the MS-21 wing are laid up in one piece on a male mold using an MTorres system. Solvay says the PRISM TX 1100 material has proven uncommonly steerable, which means it can accommodate varying angular placement with no wrinkling. Thus, AeroComposit has avoided the more conventional practice of building spars that require angular displace- ments in separate sections that must be secondarily bonded/fastened. 7 A cured spar undergoes ultrasonic nondestructive inspection. After inspec- tion, the front and rear spar, the metallic ribs and the skins/stringers are assembled with mechanical fasteners. MS-21 Infused Wing leap-frog legacy materials and pursue first-of-its-kind infusion. It did not do so alone. AeroComposit had help not only from Solvay, but also, initially, from partners Diamond Aircraft (general aviation), aerocomposites manufacturer FACC (Ried Im Innkreis, Austria), automation specialist MTorres (Torres de Elorz, Spain) and infusion equipment specialist Stevik (Cergy, France). AeroComposit did much of its own research and development to understand how use of infusion would affect wing design and manufacture. Anatoly Gaydansky, general director at AeroCom- posit, says trial and error was a consistent theme. "We encoun- tered a lot of difficulties," he said. "First of all, the uniform perme- ability of such a large-sized part as a wing panel was a challenge. We were confronted with the task to fully exclude the possibility of dry spots and potential cracking that may occur in the process of thermosetting." Maintaining tolerances for all manufacturing operations presented several difficulties, he says. ese issues were partially addressed by adjusting and optimizing the manufacturing processes. In some cases, AeroComposit modified the infusion process, which in turn was followed by modifications in the tooling. e company also had to overcome springback when the part, after being freed from the tool, tended to change its geometry. "We were forced to introduce specialized devices and additional fixtures to improve the manufacturing accuracy at different stages," Gaydansky says. "It is a huge package of manu- facturing solutions. Sometimes, when these measures proved to be insufficient, we had to introduce changes into the wing design." Arguably, the most complex structures AeroComposit fabri- cates are the co-infused wingskins and stringers. Dry fiber-placed

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