Machining Methods for Perforating Composites

Wednesday, September 25 4:00 PM - 4:50 PM

Location: Convention Center I 210A

Session Information

Title: Machining Methods for Perforating Composites


The need for greater fuel efficiency in the Aerospace Industry continues to drive the use of more advanced, lighter weight and structurally sound composite materials.  Engine liners, reverse thrusters and blocker doors are a few examples where critical perforations are needed. While traditional perforation machining methods such as CNC or Waterjet drilling were an efficient means to create perforations in metals, use of those perforation methods on composite materials were found to impart stresses, create loose fibers, burrs, and often cause delamination of the composite layers.  Thanks to a unique blend of two well-known existing technologies, an unexpected process has emerged that eliminates these issues and offers benefits not possible with traditional machining methods.  A specially designed photoresist mask combined with dry abrasive blasting has demonstrated the ability to create ultra clean and precise perforations with none of the damaging effects associated with traditional methods.  Independent labs examined the structural integrity of the composites after the perforation process and confirmed these conclusions.  This session will compare various perforation methods in use today; show how the dry abrasive machining process works; show samples; discuss some unforeseen advantages from a recent NASA study; and review results of other lab study data.

Level: Intermediate

Type: Manufacturing & Processing Technologies Conference Track