Development of 3D textile preforms for aerospace composite parts

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Out-of-autoclave composite parts manufacturing represents a strong potential for an accelerated pace and reduced cost versus traditional autoclave processes.

However, producing textile preforms for 3D composite parts by draping multiple thin reinforcement layers is a slow and labour-intensive process characterized by highly variable infusion and end performance. In practice, the costs and variability associated with the preforming of thin reinforcements cancel out the benefits provided by out-of-autoclave manufacturing. Lately, several manufacturers of innovative textiles have been offering various types of thicker 3D reinforcements, available with fibre volume fractions similar to those of final composite parts, thus removing the need for compacting during manufacture.

This project targets the production of net-shape 3D textile preforms for quick manufacturing through the infusion of complex shape composite parts (assembly of plates and shells). It involves five companies in the aeronautics sector and several researchers from ÉTS, the University of Ottawa and Université Laval.