Composite materials are widely used in aeronautics because of the major weight savings they provide, which directly affects their environmental impact because they require less fuel and thus reduce CO2 emissions. However, the current manufacturing process is not technically or economically efficient because large sandwich-structured parts are manually constructed and autoclave cured.
Now, a new method of manufacturing light aircraft parts is under development that aims to reduce current costs and increase production speed and quality. The FAMACOM project is seeking to develop an integrated solution in which manufacturing large sandwich-structured composite parts are cured via a microwave process.
The project is being carried out by a consortium led by Aerotecnic with the collaboration of industrial partners CT Ingenieros Andalucía, Inespasa and Titana, and is supported by research bodies Universidad de Cádiz, Fada-Catec and Aimplas. Aimplas’s contribution will mainly focus on material selection and optimisation of the microwave curing process.
The result of the project will be a demonstrator for the later stages of the industrialisation process consisting of a sandwich panel structure for aircraft. However, its benefits will also be applicable to other high-tech sectors such as the rail, automotive and wind energy industries.
FAMACOM is funded by the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) with the support of the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).