Posted by: Rajiv Kumar Sah Category: Uncategorized Comments: 0

In recent times, there has been a significant shift within the aerospace sector towards utilizing composite materials in the manufacturing of aircraft and rockets. This transition represents a significant milestone in the history of aviation, driven by the numerous advantages offered by composites over traditional materials such as metal alloys.

One of the main reasons for the increasing preference for composite materials in aerospace is their exceptional ability to reduce the weight of structures significantly. Unlike metals, composites like carbon fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRPs) can substantially lower the overall weight. For instance, over fifty percent of the airframes of popular long-range aircraft like the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 787 are made of CFRPs. Rocket companies worldwide, including Rocket Labs, Skyrora, Skyroot Aerospace, HyImpulse, Galactic Energy, and numerous others, are increasingly prioritizing the use of carbon fiber composite materials for constructing rocket structures.

The integration of carbon fiber into aerospace applications extends to both commercial rockets and spacecraft. The material’s undeniable durability makes it increasingly prevalent in various applications, offering benefits such as prolonged product lifespans and reduced maintenance and repair needs. Additionally, expect to see a rise in carbon fiber applications in conventional ground transportation in the foreseeable future.

Apart from weight savings, composite materials possess outstanding strength-to-weight ratios, making them highly suitable for applications requiring both strength and lightness. Components made from composites exhibit superior structural integrity while being considerably lighter than their metal counterparts. This not only enhances rocket safety but also contributes to increased durability.

Another significant advantage of composite materials in aerospace is their superior resistance to corrosion and fatigue. Unlike metals, composites demonstrate inherent resistance to environmental factors such as moisture, chemicals, and temperature fluctuations. This resistance significantly extends the lifespan of the rocket, reduces the need for frequent inspections and maintenance, and enhances operational reliability and cost-effectiveness.

Furthermore, composite materials offer aerospace engineers unparalleled design flexibility and versatility. These materials can be molded into complex shapes and configurations, enabling the creation of innovative aerodynamic designs that enhance performance and efficiency. By leveraging the unique properties of composites, engineers can design rockets with reduced drag, improved fuel economy, and enhanced maneuverability, driving advancements in aerospace technology.

As technological advancements continue, the aerospace industry is poised to further embrace composite materials in rocket manufacturing. Ongoing research and development efforts aimed at optimizing composite materials and manufacturing processes hold the promise of even greater advancements in aerospace engineering.

A prevalent method for manufacturing CFRP structures involves vacuum molding or winding techniques. For instance, many space companies globally use the winding process to manufacture components such as body tubes, combustion chambers, and fuel tanks for rockets, while molding methods are preferred for manufacturing fairings, fins and nozzles. The possibility of potential integration of additive manufacturing, particularly 3D printing, for all rocket body structures, including tanks and combustion chambers, holds the promise of significantly reducing costs and time in aerospace applications in the near future.

Mayeen-I, is dedicated to using carbon fiber composite materials for its key components such as the body structure, combustion chamber and cryogenic tanks.  Filament winding is a method of manufacturing where a mold is rotated while a machine winds carbon fiber only the mold like a rolling sewing machine. The robot extrudes pre-infused carbon fiber onto the mold and infrared lights rapidly cure the epoxy. This is most used to manufacture fuel tanks, combustion chambers and rocket structure. This method eliminates the complicated labor and time intensive processes such as rolling and casting as it is much more automated than metal manufacturing methods.

The 1st layer is hoop layer, 2nd layer is helical layer, and 3rd layer is hoop layer and so on respectively according to the thickness needed for the body and after the completion of carbon fiber layering, stretch tape has to be wound through the body.

Moreover, Mayeen-I will utilize vacuum bag molding techniques to create converging & diverging sections of nozzle, fairing, ensuring accuracy and uniformity in the final outcome. To further strengthen the structure and reduce weight, the sandwiched honeycomb structure is incorporated into the design. This innovative strategy not only enhances durability but also contributes to the overall lightweight properties of the components, reflecting Mayeen-I’s commitment to delivering advanced aerospace solutions.

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