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Fabrication of Boron‐Hybrid Swashplates

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This paper describes Boeing Vertol IR&D prototype production and subsequent programs for the development of a fabrication method for high modulus composite rings for reinforcing swashplate assemblies of the Boeing Vertol Heavy Lift Helicopter (HLH). The fundamental design requirement was to fabricate four sizes of boron‐ epoxy (AVCO 5505/4 Rigidite) rings 0.160 in. to 0.200 in. thick and outside diameters ranging from 44 in. to 58 in. and adhesively join them to a 7075‐T73 aluminum alloy swashplate. The purpose of a subscale hardware program was to develop machine design parameters relative to resin content, winding rate, compaction loads, tape tension, guides, and tracking. Five subscale rings were fabricated. Elastic moduli progressed from 15 × 106 psi to 27 × 106 psi, exceeding the design requirement by 12%. Phase II translated the experimental data into the design and fabrication of a full scale machine which produced composite rings having an elastic modulus of 36 × 106 psi (50% greater than required). The final portion of this investigation involved the joining of the boron‐epoxy composite to the 7075‐T73 aluminum alloy substructure. Large differences in thermal expansion characteristics of the two components precluded the use of a thermo setting adhesive. A room‐temperature‐curing acrylic based adhesive system, TAME 200 PB‐2, recently introduced by B. F. Goodrich was used.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Boeing Vertol Company, Philadelphia, Pa.

Publication date: 1975-07-01

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  • The Journal of the American Helicopter Society is the world's only scientific journal dedicated to vertical flight technology. It is a peer-reviewed technical journal published quarterly by AHS International and presents innovative papers covering the state-of-the-art in all disciplines of rotorcraft design, research and development. (Please note that AHS members receive significant discounts on articles and subscriptions.)

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