Paper number 1144


Japie Ludick1, Trevor Raman2

1Process Engineer, Denel Aviation, PO Box 11, Kempton Park
1620, Republic of South Africa
2Aircraft Division, Armaments Corporation of South Africa
370 Nossob Street, Erasmuskloof X4,
Pretoria, 0002, Republic of South Africa

Summary The South African Composites Industry has huge potential for growth due to the relative low labor cost and huge labor force. These advantages are, however, opposed by import costs on materials due to the fact that no advanced composite materials are produced in the Republic. The only way therefore to remain competitive is to develop processes, which are industrialized and minimize complexity, skills requirement and eventual labor cost. This paper illustrates, on a small scale, the industrialization philosophy followed in the production of carbon composite control rods for the Rooivalk attack helicopter. The industrialized component was designed almost entirely from a manufacturing point of view with extensive testing to prove certain critical design requirements. The finalized product could be manufactured in series production at a cost well below that of existing or potential suppliers.
Keywords RTM, braiding, industrialization, ballistic tolerance, fatigue, computer controlled curing.

Theme : Processing, Integrated Design and Manufacturing ; Processing

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