SEP 2018


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NEWS 61 ermoplastic Stiffening Panels" where a stamp-formed CFRTP stiffening grid is laser-welded to a composite skin. Project partners included German firms Fraunhofer ICT (Pfinztal), Airbus Operations (Hamburg), ElringKlinger (Dettingen an der Erms) and KMS Automation (Schramberg), as well as TenCate. Conduction welding After industrializing induction welding, GKN Fokker developed conduction welding (Fig. 7, p.62). "is is a new technology," says Offringa. "A kind of hot iron is used to conduct heat through at least one of the parts to be joined. Like resistance welding, the process time is independent of weld length — so whether the join is a half meter or 10m, the process time is the same for both." is is because both techniques use electricity to supply heat along the length within seconds. e TPC orthogrid fuselage panel displayed at JEC 2014 featured conduction welding. "e frames were welded in a second step using a robot with a welding end- effector," says Offringa. "e fuselage panel was curved and the frames were fairly short. However, this method could work well for welding 6-10m-long stringers to fuselage skins." Inline process control and beyond A key step in maturing TPC welding for fuselage structures is the ability to monitor and manage the process in situ. "Right now, our induction welding process is preconfigured," says van Engelen at KVE. "We use thermocouples in the weldline to Welding Thermoplastics H i g h T e m p e r a t u r e B o n d T o o l s • BMI • Epoxy M i l l F i x t u r e s P r e s s u r e I n t e n s i f i e r s / C a u l s B a c k u p S t r u c t u r e M a t e r i a l s • Panels, Tubes, Angles B a c k u p S t r u c t u r e K i t s C O M P O S I T E T O O L I N G 6262 W. 34th Street South ● Wichita, KS 67215 Phone: 316-946-5900 ● Email: Preferred by manufacturers of FAA certifi ed airframes, space launch, rotorcraft, and UAV structures •

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