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Automated FML Manufacturing for Aircraft Fuselages

Journal Article
ISSN: 1946-3855, e-ISSN: 1946-3901
Published September 27, 2016 by SAE International in United States
Automated FML Manufacturing for Aircraft Fuselages
Citation: Apmann, H., "Automated FML Manufacturing for Aircraft Fuselages," SAE Int. J. Aerosp. 9(2):214-216, 2016,
Language: English


As a new material FML, made by aluminum foils and Glasfiber-Prepreg, is a real alternative to common materials for fuselages of aircrafts like monolithic aluminum or CFRP. Since experiences within A380 this material has some really good advantages and develops to the status as alternative to aluminum and composite structures.
To become FML as a real alternative to aluminum and carbon structures there are many things to improve: design, material, costs and process chain. So following one of the main goals for an industrial application for high production rates of aircrafts is the automation of production processes inside the process chain for FML-parts like skins and panels for fuselages. To reach this goal for high production rates first steps of automation inside this new process chain have been developed in the last two years. Main steps is the automated lay-up of metallic foils and Glasfiber-Prepreg. Over this there are some more steps within positioning of i.e. stringers and doublers by automatic integration and also in parallel shorter process chain to reduce process cost significantly.
Different concepts and results of the last two years of development work will be shown in this presentation with the scope of much higher level of automation and reduced process steps for industrial application of FML for higher production rate. Over this next steps for demonstrating industrial ability of this manufacturing process are planned for the next time.