Supportability evaluation of thermoplastic and thermoset compositesNearly 300 advanced composite components manufactured by Northrop Corporation are flying on U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy supersonic aircraft as part of a three-year Air Force/Navy/Northrop supportability evaluation. Both thermoplastic and high-temperature thermoset composites were evaluated for their in-service performance on 48 USAF and Navy F-5E fighter and USAFT-38 trainer aircraft in the first large-scale, long-term maintenance evaluation of these advanced materials. Northrop manufactured four types of doors for the project-avionics bay access, oil fill, inlet duct inspection, and a main landing gear door. The doors are made of PEEK (polyetheretherketone) thermoplastic, which is tougher and potentially less expensive to manufacture than conventional composites; and 5250-3 BMI (bismaleimide) thermoset, which is manufactured like a conventional epoxy composite but can withstand higher service temperatures. Results obtained so far indicate that both the BMI and PEEK are durable with PEEK being somewhat better than BMI.
Chanani, G. R. (Northrop Corp. Hawthorne, CA, United States)
Boldi, D. (Northrop Corp. Hawthorne, CA, United States)
Cramer, S. G. (Northrop Corp. Hawthorne, CA, United States)
Heimerdinger, M. W. (Northrop Corp. Hawthorne, CA, United States)
September 6, 2013
September 1, 1990
Publication: NASA. Langley Research Center, Eighth DOD(NASA)FAA Conference on Fibrous Composites in Structural Design, Part 2