Prepreg material from Advanced Composites Group Ltd (ACG), a member of Umeco Composites Structural Materials - a Division of Umeco plc, is being used by VN Composites to manufacture composite connectors for a Thales Alenia Space satellite application.
As part of a continuous programme of development, and increased composite materials uptake, Thales Alenia Space recently replaced metallic rod connectors to further reduce the structural weight of a satellite, thereby allowing an increased payload for the same launch weight.
VN Composites, a member the Mont Blanc Technologies Group, specialises in the development and manufacture of composite components for demanding applications. VN Composites developed a special short fibre compression moulding process (CMC) for the manufacture of these connectors, and have adapted ACG's MTM46 prepreg materials for their production method.
MTM46 is just one of a range of prepregs which ACG offers for space and aerospace applications. MTM46 is a toughened structural epoxy prepreg system offering flexible, cost-effective processing via press, oven/vacuum bag moulding or autoclave. MTM46 offers a Tg capability up to 180°C and meets NASA outgassing requirements.
MTM46 is also an ideal candidate material for the low cost production of primary and secondary structures in FAR23 aircraft and unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), and it is also suitable for secondary structure in civil aircraft and helicopters.
VN Composites connectors are now qualified on two Thales Alenia Space telecom satellites.