Mold manufacturer BBG (Mindelheim, Germany) has developed, built and delivered a complete production line for the series production of carbon fiber composite window frames for the Airbus A350 XWB.
Window frames where originally metallic but weight reduction campaign changed them to composite.
The new line will go to ACE Advanced Composite Engineering (ACE), which will fabricate the carbon fiber composite structures for Airbus at its manufacturing site in Hagnau, Germany.
The order includes 2 BFT-C mold carrier systems that are designed a press with a clamping force of 100 metric tons. BBG says that the supply of 4 more BFT-C systems is also planned.
An automatic mounting system first secures the mold in the mold-turning station. The 2 parts of the mold are then moved apart by a short parallel lift and swung open 180°.
BBG says that the ergonomic design allows the operator to easily insert the prepared carbon fiber preforms into the mold.
The in-mold turning station has a fully insulated heat chamber with integrated heating plates.
The tool with the preforms is then loaded into the BFT-C mold carrier. A resin transfer molding (RTM) process is used to inject and then cure the resin matrix.
Finally, the mold is opened in the mold carrier and the component then goes to the demolding station.
These can be also be opened 180° so that the window frame can be easily removed.
Based on the article “Airbus A350 to use CFRP window fames” published in Composites World