Carbon fiber -
page-template,page-template-full_width,page-template-full_width-php,page,page-id-2610,page-child,parent-pageid-2596,eltd-cpt-1.0,,avio theme-child-ver-1.0,moose-ver-1.7, vertical_menu_with_scroll,smooth_scroll,blog_installed,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.0.1,vc_responsive

Carbon fiber

Carbon fiber

Starting from the decade of the 70s, the improvement of solid rocket motors structural components has been focused on the potential use of composite materials as alternative to conventional metallic parts. Since then Avio has experienced in the field of filament winding technology, which is a manufacturing technique that enhances the unique properties of carbon fibers: strength and lightness.

Nowadays, composite cases are the baseline for future launcher development. The filament winding technology is well suited for solid rocket motors, that require higher temperature performance limits, lower void contents, increased mechanical properties and reproducibility.

The cases of the first three stages of Vega launcher (P80, Zefiro 23 and Zefiro 9) are all made by filament winding. During composite case manufacturing, a thermal protection is first applied on a metal supporting structure (mandrel) and then polymerized. Subsequently, tows of carbon fibers impregnated with resin (prepreg) are wound on the thermal protection.

After filament winding, the composite case is cured, then the mandrel is removed: the insulated motor case is obtained and is ready for propellant casting. More than 4000 km of carbon fibers are wound to produce the first three stages of Vega launcher.

Filament winding process based on prepregs guarantees:

  • an accurate control of resin content and optimal fiber volume content (60%);
  • a high level of compaction of the laminate also with high wall thickness;
  • an excellent level of voids containment and absence of defects;
  • higher winding speed than wet winding (up to twice);
  • clean and safe work environment.

In order to better fit the cost target and to maximize performance for the next generation of solid rocket motors for Vega C and Ariane 6, a large investigation was undertaken by Avio in the field of prepreg manufacturing and processing.
As a result, Avio has recently developed its own prepreg, based on a proprietary resin system HXE23©, with tailored characteristics for rocket motors case manufacturing.
Peculiar properties of this resin system are high glass transition temperature (> 150°C), excellent characteristics for both impregnation as filament winding technology, long out-life and shelf life.
The key technology is the impregnation of TOW preg and the Unidirectional Tape at challenging costs, developed and produced with patented process in a new facility specifically established in Colleferro and Airola.
The impregnation process has been optimized on the basis of the material specification requirements and the prepreg processability; in particular, tape impregnation parameters have been improved in order to have a suitable layup by ATL (Automatic Tape Laying) machine, which has recently been introduced on cases manufacturing process.
The benefits obtained by using ATL machine are cycle time reduction, process repeatability and
higher quality of case manufacturing.
HXE23© prepreg has been successfully tested at full scale SRM case and will be used to produce the next generation of solid rocket motor cases, starting from Zefiro 40 and P120 C.

By using this website, you agree to accept our cookie policy. find out more

Questo sito utilizza i cookie per fornire la migliore esperienza di navigazione possibile. Continuando a utilizzare questo sito senza modificare le impostazioni dei cookie o cliccando su "Accetta" permetti il loro utilizzo.