Markforged announced it is supporting aerospace, defense and other manufacturers in highly regulated industries with Onyx FR-A and Carbon Fiber FR-A, aerospace-ready versions of its Onyx FR and Carbon Fiber FR materials. These two new materials are undergoing a qualification program conducted on the X7 industrial 3D printer by the National Center for Advanced Materials Performance (NCAMP), part of the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University. Upon completion, Markforged is expected to have the first continuous fiber-reinforced additive manufacturing (AM) process qualified by NCAMP, one of two bodies authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to qualify materials for flight.
Markforged has been collaborating with NCAMP since the first quarter of 2020 and has successfully completed the rigorous factory audit phase of the qualification program approved by NIAR and a steering committee consisting of experts spanning commercial and defense industries, academia, and the FAA. The program is currently in the printing and testing phase, which will be followed by an in-depth analysis and reporting cycle. Markforged and NCAMP anticipate full qualification upon completion of these processes in early 2023. Both the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) currently accept composite specification and design values developed using the NCAMP process.
Onyx FR-A and Carbon Fiber FR-A materials meet Flame, Smoke, and Toxicity (FST) requirements for many parts in aircraft interiors, come with traceability, and adhere to specifications approved by NCAMP. They are specifically developed for end-use applications in industries like aerospace and defense because of their high strength-to-weight ratio, exceptional surface finish, and high consistency. With Onyx FR-A and Carbon Fiber FR-A materials, aerospace manufacturers and others that require higher levels of documentation can explore what’s possible with additive manufacturing and high-strength continuous fiber-reinforced end-use parts.
Markforged has been working with aerospace customers, such as Cabin Management Solutions (CMS), to bring end-use parts to market through a manual material traceability process. The company, based in Texas, designs and manufactures cabin management and in-flight entertainment systems for business and private aircraft, and has already developed over 100 end-use parts ready to be installed in aircrafts. Newly available material traceability will streamline their processes and, ultimately, help accelerate the path to FAA approval.
Once Onyx FR-A and Carbon Fiber FR-A complete the NCAMP qualification process, manufacturers will be able to access Markforged’s material information from the NCAMP database, prove equivalency, and have the ability to gain FAA certification efficiently.
Onyx FR-A and Carbon Fiber FR-A materials are available on the Markforged X7, and Onyx FR-A is also available on the Markforged X5 and X3.
Filed Under: Make Parts Fast