LKR: Aluminium Composites for Space and Earth Applications18. August 2023
The aim of the FFG-funded project was to further develop gas pressure infiltration technology for fibre-reinforced metal matrix composites (MMC). This technology has already been researched at the LKR for several years.
Together with the project partners RHP-Technology GmbH and Aerospace & Advanced Composites GmbH, the aim was now to increase the complexity of the layer structure and the variety of geometries that can be produced. In previous projects, the process had already been successfully established for plates with unidirectional layer structure. In Space Al-MMC, samples with cross-laminates and quasi-isotropic layer structure were now produced. In addition, the first profiles such as L-profiles and hollow profiles were manufactured.
It could be demonstrated that samples with more complex fibre layer structures [0.90] and quasiisotropic orientation can be produced. The mechanical properties of the samples show promising results and complete infiltration of the fibres was achieved. The samples were tested under conditions similar to those in space and no performance degradation was observed. In addition, the successful production of L-profiles and hollow profiles was demonstrated.
Project manager Stephan Ucsnik from the LKR Leichtmetallkompetenzzentrum Ranshofen explains: "Components made from the material we have developed should be able to withstand the conditions prevailing in space. This includes high thermal fluctuation, low thermal expansion, no degradation under radiation exposure and low mass. Fortunately, we were able to demonstrate the fabrication of such specimens as part of Space-Al-MMC – a great success."