Alternate Material Investigation

Student: Taylor Johnson, 2016-2017

Sponsor: NORDAM, Tulsa, OK

One of the manufacturing divisions within the aerospace company NORDAM is interiors and structures (INS). Many of INS’s products utilize sandwich flat panels produced by combining two skins of material and a honeycomb core. The most common method of adhering the skins to the core involves skins that are pre-impregnated with an adhesive resin and an autoclave is used to cure the resin to the core. When completed, these panels can be cut and shaped into cabinets, overhead bins, and many other aircraft components. Recently, some of NORDAM’s competitors have offered their customers newer, stronger, lighter and cheaper sandwich panels made from exotic materials. This led NORDAM to develop the alternate materials project. The project will investigate skin and core material properties relevant to the aerospace industry. The best of these will be combined to make sandwich panels and the panels’ properties will be tested. The panels with the best test scores will be investigated further to see how feasible adding them to NORDAM’s product line would be and what the market looks like. This project has the potential to allow NORDAM to offer comparable products to those their competitors are already offering.