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Lightweight Construction

A Roth plant wraps fiber strands for Ariane 6

The German special machine manufacturer, Roth, has developed a fiber wrapping plant for the production of propulsion rockets for Ariane 6 in collaboration with the Italian company, Avio.

31 Jul. 2018
A Roth plant wraps fiber strands for Ariane 6 (Photo: ESA-CNES-ARIANESPACE)

Roth Composite Machinery based in Steffenberg, Germany, and Avio, a leading manufacturer of space propulsion systems, have already collaborated in projects for Ariane 5 and Vega . Avio manufactures propulsion rockets called “boosters” for Ariane 6 on the new fiber wrapping plant. It will bring satellites into space for the European Space Agency from 2020 onwards.

Fiber solids are increasingly being used in the aerospace industry. That includes the composite housings of the engines. Thanks to their lightweight construction, the weight of the Ariane 6 booster stages can be reduced by up to 35% and thus also the operating costs. Roth’s filament wrapping plant is equipped for three different wrapping processes. To ensure the heat resistance of the boosters, heat protection tape is wrapped onto the mandrel with the first carriage in positive construction. The vulcanization of the tape is followed by the towpreg wrapping process with the second carriage. The third carriage is equipped with a application head for automated tape application (ATL). This technology allows the exact placement of the tape on complex geometries for the attachments of the booster.