Last month marked the American Helicopter Society’s 73rd annual Forum and Technology Display in Fort Worth, Texas. Automated Dynamics was on hand to present on two exciting projects developed in collaboration with SURVICE Engineering. Our Composite Driveshaft program and Electronic Enclosures were featured. Additional details are below. For a full download, please visit our Technical Paper Library.
Composite Driveshafts for Helicopter Application
The ability to construct a composite, damage-resistant, highly survivable drive shaft for a rotary-wing application using an IM7 graphite/polyetheretherketone (PEEK) composite and in-situ tape-placement fabrication technology has been demonstrated. Through an evolutionary process, highly survivable, damage-tolerant shafts were developed, design tools and data were validated, and test shafts developed to evaluate the design viability in a dynamic application. The drive shafts demonstrated the feasibility of the technology, illustrated the ability to customize the design to meet unique shaft properties (e.g., frequency), and validated the maturity of the technology for rotary-wing applications.
Multifunctional Structural Composites with Integrated Electromagnetic Shielding
The ability to construct a multifunctional material that provides electromagnetic (EM) hardening on an aircraft structure integral to the material form has been demonstrated. The material’s key attribute is the integration of a high level of EM shielding directly into a structural fiber-reinforced graphite composite in a manner that has minimal to no impact on the mechanical characteristics of the host composite. The material form has demonstrated the EM shielding equivalency of an aluminum electronics enclosure structure on a composite alternative for 25% of the weight without impacting structural characteristics. This material form provides a lightweight alternative to traditional means of providing aircraft EM protection from existing and emerging threats, such as high-power microwaves (HPMs) and EM pulse (EMP)/high-altitude EMP (HEMP), without incurring parasitic weight penalties. Its multifunctionality provides a weight-efficient means to address EM shielding in a composite while taking advantage of its strength-to-weight properties.