With an extensive background in the aerospace industry, David Kehrl, senior project engineer at A&P Technology, spent the bulk of his career introducing new materials and manufacturing processes for airframe designs. His key areas of expertise include developing designs utilizing braided preforms, prepreg materials and titanium. He is also dedicated to supporting applied research and development programs at leading universities.
Kehrl is a member of the Utah chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) and is one of the technical co-chairs involved in the planning of CAMX – The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo.
ACMA and SAMPE join together to introduce the new co-produced event – CAMX. The conference program will take place October 13-14, 2014, and an exhibit hall will be open October 14-16, 2014. Both organizations expect that CAMX 2014 will attract over 8,500 attendees and more than 500 exhibitors. For more information about the new event, visit theCAMX.org.
What are most aerospace OEMs looking for from composites?
There are three high level variables that control the performance of an airplane: weight, lift/drag and specific fuel consumption. Composites are being used to improve all three. In addition, composites eliminate many of the lifecycle costs like corrosion and fatigue as well as associated inspection costs.
What are some of the biggest challenges facing the aerospace industry?
Foreign competition, manufacturing and development costs and certifying new materials and designs for existing and new aircraft.
In your opinion, what would help the composites industry expand?
A focus on process automation that would eliminate much of the hand labor that is prevalent today. Raw material costs are frequently blamed for high part costs but in reality the fiber costs are a small portion of final part cost.