VAP® 3D ready-mades for large aerospace structures

VAP® 3D ready-mades developed and produced by Trans-Textil together with the Center for Lightweight Production at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR-ZLP) in Augsburg have again enabled the two partners to demonstrate the potential of prefabricated material kits adapted to component form. As part of the “Optimized vacuum bagging for CFRP rocket booster cases” project, DLR and Trans-Textil recently implemented the concept of instant-use multifunctional textile auxiliary packs in the case of a full-scale final-stage booster demonstrator measuring 3.4 metres in diameter and 6 metres in length for the Ariane 6 launcher.

Special joining techniques made it possible to successfully adapt the central process component – digitally computed pattern pieces of the patented VAP® membrane system – to the complex component geometry with its cylindrical and curved sections while ensuring high accuracy of fit in the process. Thanks also to integrated resin feeds for out-of-autoclave infusion and an application-oriented packaging design, DLR and Trans-Textil have thus achieved the ideal prerequities for reproducible, simiplified and thus time-optimised deployment of fabrication incorporating VAP® 3D ready-mades.

Ready-mades for use in membrane-assisted vacuum infusion

Specially devised to facilitate the vacuum infusion process in intricate components, VAP® 3D ready-mades reliably remove air and gas residues from the matrix around where they are deployed. Thanks also to their semi-permeable characteristics, they support use of VAP® membrane systems over entire component surfaces in exacting fabrication and repair assignments.

Produced with the help of advanced lamination system and coating technologies, the functional multi-layer textile products can be tailored by exclusive manufacturer Trans-Textil to individual requirements in terms of:

  • roll length
  • width
  • material combinations

Coming with a flat configuration and integrated breather layer, VAP® 3D ready-mades leave barely a mark on component surfaces, and are suited for modules of every size in wind turbine blade production, boat building, further industrial applications and aviation.

VAP® 3D highlights

  • Facilitates the VAP® process
  • Dependable evacuation of air and gas residues
  • Ensures reliably reproducible results
  • Suitable for any size of component
  • Ease and flexibility in handling
  • Support by experienced VAP® application engineers
  • Material- and custom-shaping expertise for tailored solutions
VAP® Strips
Customized roll widhts and lengths
VAP® Tubes
Complete with integrated breather layer
VAP ® Tapes
VAP® Filter
and individualised 3D ready-mades

VAP®3D: Solutions adapted to component form

As part of the AZIMUT and RoCk projects and working in response to calls for automated and optimized process chains, Trans-Textil and Composyst have developed a new made-to-shape approach especially devised for large aviation structures that need to be fabricated in one integral process. Starting with the geometry data of the Airbus A350 pressure bulkhead, this involved compiling the layers in the VAP® process lay-up into a VAP® 3D material kit made up of instant-use textile auxiliaries that have been tailored to the precise shape of the component mold. Aviation-qualified materials combined in newly-developed cutting and joining techniques were solely used.

Automated deployment

The large-scale, multi-layer made-to-shape solutions come with robot grip straps for swift, automatic and precisely-positioned layer stacking in the mold. This almost entirely eliminates the need for laborious cutting work and other preparatory tasks such as joining, positioning, repositioning and fixing the layers by hand. The VAP® 3D material kit has already proved its worth in a trial involving a full-size Airbus A350 pressure bulkhead.

VAP® Vakuum Assisted Process

Practice-oriented adaptation

Thanks to the applications engineering experience of the VAP® Network partners and their expertise in made-to-shape solutions, patented VAP® membrane systems proven in aviation and industrial applications and further textile components (such as 01870 Flow Aid by Trans-Textil) can now be adapted to specific individual requirements for component fabrication.