innovaTive disbOnd aRrest features for loNg thermoplAstic welDed jOints
The aerospace industry currently has a need for lightweight, complex composite structures to make their way into operational use. Changes in the regulatory landscape and demands for reduced emissions, coupled with the need to optimize Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPK), have driven research efforts into cleaner, lighter, and more efficient aircraft designs. A key approach to reducing emissions is minimizing weight: by reducing weight, fuel usage drops, leading to a reduction in overall emissions. This requires that traditional materials such as steel, aluminium, and even titanium be replaced with lighter, high-performance materials. High Performance Thermoplastics (HPTP) are an excellent solution to the issues of recyclability, light weight, high performance, and repairability. HPTP composites offer compelling advantages over metal components: improved working life, lower weight, reduced fuel consumption, and longer service intervals.
The Large Passenger Aircraft (LPA) Platform 2–Multifunctional Fuselage Demonstrator (MFFD) will employ new combinations of airframe structures, cabin/cargo, and system elements using advanced materials, notably HPTP composites. The MFFD is focused on achieving significant cost and weight reductions, coupled with high production rates. The use of thermoplastic welding can lead to significant benefits, but in order to obtain certification under EASA and CS 23 rules, disbond arrest features must be integrated into the structure.
The TORNADO project will develop a novel technology, Inductive Low-Shear Friction Stir Riveting, as well several other fallback alternatives, in order to provide a high-performance solution for disbond arrest in the MFFD.