MOSCOW, November 9. /TASS/. Specialists of the Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems Company and scientists of the Skolkovo Science and Technology Institute (Skoltech) have developed a new technology of making composite materials that will allow designing light and firm panels for the space industry, the Skoltech press office reported on Friday.
"The joint experimental design work carried out by specialists of Skoltech and Information Satellite Systems has yielded a new technology of making a composite material - the honeycomb core made of aluminum foil. Honeycomb cored panels are widely used in space vehicles, aircraft-and ship-building, the furniture, automobile and other industries," the Skoltech press office said in a statement.
The work on making the composite material using the new technology was carried out on order from Russia’s State Space Agency Roscosmos.
The honeycomb core made of aluminum foil is referred to the category of composite materials that are very firm and light at the same time: the foil is just 23 micrometers thick while the honeycomb cell edge is 2.5 mm long. Skoltech engineers have developed equipment for making this honeycomb filler using laser technologies, the vision processing technology and modern automated systems. Overall, two types of the honeycomb filler have been developed under the project: for flat panels and for curvilinear (cylindrical, parabolic and other) load-carrying structures.
"The technical concept that has been developed and implemented is universal as it allows obtaining various types of the filler using the same equipment: with a flexible and hexagonal shape of the honeycomb cell [for curvilinear and flat structures, respectively]. In actual fact, the production of a new material has been created today, which opens new possibilities for implementing designers’ ideas for designing light and firm structures with the surface of the curve of the second order," the statement says.
The conveyor for producing aluminum honeycombs has been launched at the Applied Mechanics Small Design Bureau (part of the Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems Company). Its production capacities will eventually suffice both to meet the Company’s requirements and provide other Roscosmos organizations with the high-quality material.
"A possibility is being considered to deliver the honeycomb filler with altered characteristics to aircraft- and ship-building and construction organizations. But in this case, it will be necessary to develop a new production line and for this purpose we count on further cooperation with Skoltech," Applied Mechanics Small Design Bureau Deputy Director for Development Pavel Goshkovsky was quoted by the Skoltech press office as saying.