Composite News 8 July 2021

Door one-shot composite complex structure: the ELCOCOS project enters its final test phase

At the end of June, Latécoère delivered the innovative ELCOCOS door demonstrator to Airbus. The European aircraft manufacturer will install this demonstrator on a nose fuselage test jig and perform the mechanical pressurization ground tests.

Supported by the European Clean Sky research program, the project aims to develop a composite door using liquid resin infusion (LRI) technologies. This achievement would significantly contribute to the performance of future aircraft by reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. How? By reducing by approximately 20% the weight of the structure, the production costs of the primary structure and the non-recurring costs.

ELCOCOS relies on the close partnership of large European industrial and research groups in the fields of aeronautics and materials development: Latécoère for project management, design and testing of the demonstrator, Corima Technologies for the design and the manufacture of composite tools, Compositadour for automatic lay-up and hot forming, and Groupe Institut de Soudure for the injection process. Launched in 2019, the project has since successfully passed several milestones. The final test phase carried out by Airbus should validate the performance of the demonstrator.

One of the main challenges of the project was to define the technical and financial performances of an optimized infused structure, firstly by predicting the behavior of fibers and resin by correlation with tests on representative coupons, secondly by mastering the process of infusion by numerical simulation, and thirdly by optimizing production costs thanks to a self-heating infusion tooling (Out Of Autoclave) using a system of reusable vaccum bag and bladders.

Latécoère brought its experience as the world’s leading independent manufacturer of aircraft doors. The group is regularly involved in the development of subassemblies for aeronautical programs under risk sharing agreements, and has extensive experience in door R&T programs including the innovative NexGED and ASGARD projects.

 

This project has received funding from Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, under Grant Agreement No 831900.