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Helicopter Door Hinge

We have substituted an existing aircraft part made of metal - and came up with a lighter, still extremely durable solution. Made with 9T Labs' AFT solution, it features an industry-grade composite material using continuous carbon fiber and PEKK.

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Weight reduction in aviation and aerospace

Helicopters, but also airplanes, drones, satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), need hundreds of brackets, hinges and fittings to hold their structures together. Currently, 80% of small aerospace connector parts are still metal due to the high fabrication cost of composite avionics mechanical components for small size classes - although every additional gram costs fuel and efficiency. This is exactly where our ultra-light, AFT manufactured carbon composite materials come in.

We make flying systems more lightweight

In aerospace, the buy-to-fly ratio is crucial. Our goal - together with Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (FHNW) - was to identify an alternative material and process for the existing metal hinge. This required to know all functional requirements for this crucial part in the closing mechanism of the helicopter’s doors. Based on these requirements, carbon  composite with 3 dimensional fiber orientation is the ideal candidate with the following specificities:

  • • Continuous fibers
  • • High-temperature thermoplastic
  • • Thin z-dimension

However, it also had to prove to be cost-competitive.

A lighter and cheaper door hinge

To optimize fiber placement in all directions, we can deposit separate sub-parts individually with our Build Module. Then, we assemble and consolidate the individual parts during the fusion process. This ensures that all force application points and interfaces can be reinforced according to the boundary and loading conditions. Also, sub-parts can be interlocked mechanically.

Some facts on our helicopter parts

Our Red Series Additive Fusion Technology leverages the latest developments in automation technology, software, and materials to make performance parts easily accessible at a lower cost.

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1.000 parts per annum with our Red Series Additive Fusion Technology

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71% reduced CO2 emissions over lifetime through lower weight