College of Engineering
Materials Engineering Department
BS in Materials Engineering
Safran Cabin (Santa Maria, CA), previously known as Zodiac Aerospace, designs and manufactures interior cabin components for private and commercial aircraft. Carbon fiber face sheets have recently been incorporated in their overhead luggage bin assemblies which utilize a composite sandwich panel design, in order to provide additional stiffness to the previous glass fiber sandwich panels. Since the introduction of carbon fiber in these luggage bin panels, Safran has experienced an increase in warpage during manufacturing. When inspected by quality control, the panels are tested mimicking how they are installed in aircraft. If the panels do not meet specifications, the warped panels must be sent back in the production line for rework or are scrapped, costing the company both time and money. This project studies the warpage of the panels during manufacturing and provides a solution to minimize the warpage. The fiber orientation and resulting symmetry of the fibers about the panel core, were suspected to be the main causes of warpage. Test panels measuring 3 inches by 24 inches were studied utilizing the same manufacturing process. Four novel combinations of fiber orientations were tested and compared against the current configuration used at Safran. The current layup used by Safran yielded a warpage of 0.0410 inches. A symmetric panel configuration yielded a warpage of 0.00986 inches, for a 76% reduction in the warpage compared to the control study. The data collected from this study suggests that a symmetric layup consisting of fibers oriented at 45° and -45° relative to the length of the panel results in the lowest values of warpage.