Pre-preg Braiding of Organic Composites
Rapid fabrication of organic preforms via braiding of woven pre-preg tapes.
PSI, along with our partner Jordan Valley Innovation Center, is developing the first production pre-preg braiding system.
Capability Description: In the fall on 2023, our 26 foot diameter/144 carrier braiding system will become operational at our partner JVIC’s facility. We currently have capability to manufacture braided pre-pregs on 64 carrier and 48 carrier machines.
When all 3 braiding systems are operational in Fall 2023, PSI/JVIC team will have tremendous design flexibility. Utilizing our 144 carrier, 64 carrier and 48 carrier systems, we can fabricate very small diameter parts (inch or less) to 8 foot diameter parts.
PSI utilizes standard aerospace grade pre-preg that is slit to proper width to make the tape used for braiding. We can slit the materials from ¼” wide to ¾” wide providing tremendous design flexibility.
The quality of braided structure, particularly for bodies of revolution is greatly improved with the used of braiding. Additionally, the lay down rates of materials are orders of magnitude faster that hand lamination.
Our anticipated cost savings over hand lamination is on the order of 80% cost reduction. If we assume the organic fabrication is 50% total ceramic cost, we save 40% of the ceramic part cost by using braiding.
Between 40-50% of the cost of a ceramic matrix composite part is consumed by making the organic preform. Pre-preg Braiding attacks affordability two ways:
- Laydown rates will be between 50 lbs and 150 lbs per hour, depending on the part size and 3 of carriers used in the braiding system.
- Part quality is also improved, greatly improving yield rate, particularly for bodies of revolution.
Benefit to Customer
The payoff for the customer is 3 fold:
- Reduction in cost of producing organic parts is up to 80%; this translates into about 40% cost reduction for the ceramic part.
- Part quality is greatly improved. Hand lamination of bodies of revolution never seem to work. Bulk factors of the pre-preg cause wrinkles, porosity and poor geometric control. Braiding solves the bulk factor problem and greatly improves yield rate further adding to the cost reduction
- Cycle time – with laydown rates between 50 and 150 lbs per hour (depending on # carriers and tape width), PSI could fabricate either 4 aero shells OR 4 flow-paths in one day.