Dedicated to launchers, whether civilian like Ariane 6, or military, the thermal protection is intended to protect composite structures, such as the launcher fairing, against temperatures and high heat fluxes occurring during launches.
The innovative solution is made of an epoxy resin and flax fiber based prepreg composite with AFP (Automated Fibre Placement) manufacturing and with a density lower than 1. Flax fibers were chosen because of their low density and their good thermal insulating properties while epoxy resin was especially chosen because of its good chemical adhesion with the structural composite in carbon/epoxy that must be protected. This material is made of a unidirectional reinforcement, made with 100% orientated long flax fibers (FlaxTape). It is impregnated with an epoxy resin formulated for Out-Of-Autoclave curing and allows co-curing with the carbon/epoxy structural part.The hollow microspheres are incorporated inside the composite in order to lighten the composite part. The produced prepreg is then slitted and used on an AFP robot to manufacture the final part.
- Cost effective
- Very low density (0.6-0.8 g/cm3)
- Orientation of the fiber where needed
- Out of autoclave and cocuring
- Processable with AFP application
This development has been made in the framework of CAULIBRI project, financially supported by the Rapid program of the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA).