JUL 2018


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JULY 2018 44 CompositesWorld FEATURE / Composite UAVs Take Flight Michael R. LeGault is a freelance writer located in Houston, TX, US, and the former editor of Canadian Plastics magazine (Toronto, ON, Canada). has frequently been used to make prototype or test parts, Impos- sible Objects' CEO Larry Kaplan says the company is currently working on securing several commercial, higher-volume appli- cations for parts in drones. Details of the applications cannot yet be detailed, but Kaplan reports that they will involve new, high- temperature-resistant, carbon fiber/nylon and carbon fiber/PEEK materials the company has developed. "We are the only compos- ites additive manufac- turer with a reinforced PEEK material," Kaplan claims, noting materials with high temperature resistance are increas- ingly in demand for parts and molds. Printer supplier Stra- tasys Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN, US) is partnering with materials suppliers and aerospace/drone fabricators in the ongoing development and commercialization of its 3D printed tooling technologies for the molding of composite parts. Timothy Schniepp, senior director, composite solutions at Stratasys, says the company's fused deposition modeling (FDM) machines can produce most tools in two to three days or less, meaning a customer can be molding parts in less than a week. e company's high-temperature material, Ultem 1010, a polyetherimide (PEI) Read this article online | Read more online about how drones are changing the way wind farm operators inspect their massive rotor blades, especially in sometimes remote or offshore wind turbine installations | manufactured by SABIC (Pittsfield, MA, US), is a general purpose, unfilled material suitable for the manufacture of all lay-up tooling, including tools autoclaved to temperatures up to 300°F. Swift Engineering Inc. (San Clemente, CA, US) used FDM and Ultem 1010 to manufacture matched halves of a compression mold for a UAV's carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy propeller blades. e 356-by-102-by-51-mm tools took 30 hours of build time and were manually abraded and sealed with a two-part epoxy, yielding a surface finish Ra (roughness average) of approximately 0.4µm. Rock West Composites (West Jordan, UT, US) is collaborating with Stratasys to validate some of the tool designs by molding test parts. Adrian Corbett, director of business development at company, notes the drone industry is incorporating more 3D-printed parts into its products, and 3D-printed tools offer a clear advantage compared to machining tools from epoxy or other tooling materials. "is allows you to make a part as fast as you can print the tool," he says. In short, a new drone-prolific era has emerged and is here. Fortu- nately, for many in the composites industry, change, in this case, is good. PRESENTERS PRESENTED BY EVENT DESCRIPTION: Composites can offer significant benefits for performance-driven products and, for the UK's winter Paralympic team, performance is key. e natural evolution of Sit Ski technology is an increased use of engineered materials and state-of-the-art design and manufacturing techniques. Four of the UK High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC) centres; the National Composites Centre (NCC), Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and the University of Warwick (WMG) embarked on a project to develop a new and innovative Sit Ski. e end product was a unique demonstration of the UK's expertise in high value design and manufacturing technologies. PARTICIPANTS WILL LEARN: • Background to the study • Collaborative engineering design • Advanced simulation techniques Innovative Sit Ski Uses Composite Materials to Deliver Peak Performance to UK Winter Paralympic Team August 8, 2018 • 2:00 PM ET REGISTER TODAY FOR WEBINAR AT: SHORT.COMPOSITESWORLD.COM/ALTAIR88 ANDREW PATTERSON Engineering Capability Lead, NCC and Sit Ski Systems Integration Technical Authority CHRIS YOUNG Technical Programme Manager, NCC and Sit Ski Project Manager • Manufacturing capabilities • Validation and verification of the design

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