MASTRO Self-Cure Leading Edge
Genesis of your product. why and for whom?
This leading-edge section is a demonstrator of the Self-Curing technology, which utilises the Joule heating effect to directly cure composites with extremely low energy consumption. It demonstrates aerospace geometry and high-performance materials such as high-temperature pre-preg and Nomex.
Benefits for the final customers?
Self-cure takes advantage of the electrically conductive properties of existing carbon fibre to enable low-power Joule heating for the curing of composites. For a 2-metre long component, using VARTM or pre-preg, less than 1 % of the energy was used, compared to an equivalent oven cure.
The product : materials and processes
This component uses generic aerofoil geometry, comprising the front 5 % of the aerofoil. The pre-preg used is UD SHD VTC 410, cured at 120°C, and post-cured at 180°C. A 5mm Nomex core is at the mid-ply to demonstrate the method's compatibility with core materials. The copper contacts required for the Joule heating were left on the component to demonstrate the manufacturing process steps.