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STINGTECH is a new method for reinforcing sandwich materials, which uses tied foam core technology to produce lightweight, cost-effective structures that offer improved damage tolerance and mechanical flexibility.
Developed by Airbus Group Innovations and Airbus, STINGTECH is an innovative interior material for sandwich structures – which are formed in a three-layer configuration with two thin composite or metallic facesheets around a foam core.
STINGTECH uses a modified tying process, where a needle with a clamp is stitched through the interior foam and picks up from below a roving material – undrilled fiber monofiles on any material basis such as carbon, glass or organic. The roving material is then brought back through the foam, where it is cut off.
Once the desired arrangement of these dry reinforcements has been inserted into the foam, the facesheets are integrated with the preform core material and the structure is infused with resin to produce the final product’s load-bearing pins.
The pins are arranged throughout the foam in straight, parallel bundles for load optimization, and their location can vary depending on the structural mechanics needed.
STINGTECH is suited for high-performance applications where strong, lightweight materials tolerant to damage are required. This includes uses in major fuselage and wing structures for aircraft manufacturing, in addition to applications in the wind energy, ship production, transportation and building construction industries.
STINGTECH results in an improved lightweight sandwich material, which combines the established properties of foams (smooth, flexible, insulating) with high damage tolerance and mechanical flexibility.
The technology is cost-effective, with similar or better properties than high-performance honeycombs and pins can be arranged for improvements in specific regions where load-bearing capabilities are needed.
Other STINGTECH advantages include increased flexibility for the sandwich structure’s core shape, improved crack resistance in the finished product through the micro-pins’ use, and optional secondary properties such as shrapnel protection and acoustic damping.