infoTECH Feature

July 22, 2013

Park Electrochemical Unveils Patent Pending ALPHA STRUT Composite Strut Design

Park Electrochemical Corp. (News - Alert), a provider of high-technology digital and radio frequency (RF)/microwave printed circuit materials, has introduced a new patent pending proprietary composite strut design, ALPHA STRUT, for aerospace applications.

For those unaware, a strut is a structural load-carrying element that can transfer loads axially between two points.

Designed for aircraft and other aerospace medium-to-high load bearing applications, the new ALPHA STRUT designs have been developed to safely support working (limit) loads of 1,100 pounds in tension and compression with an ultimate load capability of 2,200 pounds, cites a press release.

According to Park Electrochemical, the new ALPHA STRUT design has been successfully tested to more than one million load cycles at load limits in both tension and compression.

Some of the key aerospace applications that can leverage the new ALPHA STRUT designs include the primary and secondary aircraft structures, tie rods, push/pull control rods, monument bracing, truss structures and bulkheads.

Using fully traceable materials that are acceptable for aircraft and other industry use, the new ALPHA STRUT design joins the company’s patented proprietary aerospace composite strut product offering, called as SIGMA STRUT.

The SIGMA STRUT is designed for space and other aerospace very high load bearing applications. It has been qualified for use on programs, such as the Kistler Aerospace K-1 launch vehicle, NASA Space Shuttle Orbiters and NASA’s Max Launch Abort System (MLAS) program.

According to a source, NASA has already tested the SIGMA STRUT design as part of the structurally efficient tapered strut (SETS1 and SETS2) programs in an effort to select one design to use across multiple NASA programs.

According to Park Electrochemical, both ALPHA STRUT and SIGMA STRUT designs provide significant weight savings and load carrying reliability compared to metal struts and other composite struts.

This is possible as both ALPHA STRUT and SIGMA STRUT designs utilize unique metal end-fittings that are co-cured into each end of the struts without the use of adhesives. This technique enables the fittings to transfer the full load through the strut body without having to rely on bond areas to carry shear loads as with typical designs.

Primarily focused in the areas of polymer chemistry formulation and coating technology, Park Electrochemical is an advanced materials company that develops and manufactures high-technology digital and RF/microwave printed circuit materials for telecommunications, Internet infrastructure and high-end computing markets. It also develops and manufactures advanced composite materials, parts and assemblies for the aerospace markets.

Edited by Ryan Sartor

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