A HiCAM Project Technical Highlight
The NASA and Electroimpact team stand in front of a state-of-the-art automated fiber placement machine located at Electroimpact in Mukilteo, Washington.
The team is studying using lasers to assemble aircraft structures made from thermoplastic composites.
The automated fiber placement machine builds composite parts by laying down material one thin layer at a time. Lasers melt the interface between layers, and a roller presses the layers together as they cool. This process avoids the long cure time used currently with thermoset composites.
NASA’s HiCAM project is evaluating manufacturing approaches that reduce labor, equipment, and the cost of tools without compromising strength and safety.