The Defense Science Research Institute, part of South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD) has transformed domestic carbon fiber into advanced aerospace composite material for use on drones.
The development of the material began in 2020.
Carbon fiber-based aviation composite material is a key material that is essential for improving the performance of UAVs by reducing the weight of the aircraft. However, only some advanced foreign countries have the technology, so the airframe structure of domestic UAVs has been completely dependent on foreign countries.
Intermediate materials are needed to transform carbon fiber in the form of yarn or fabric into advanced composite materials such as carbon bicycle frames. Korea Research Institute manufactured prepreg, an intermediate material based on domestic carbon fiber, and developed a composite material with high heat resistance / high toughness based on this.
Because aircraft are exposed to continuous pressure and vibration for a long period of time, it is important to use materials that are resistant to fatigue damage.
The Korea Research Institute of Science and Technology is evaluating the characteristics of the developed composite material to secure the physical properties (strength, stiffness, toughness) of the material necessary for the basic design of UAV parts, and studies the working principle of the composite material's high toughness for mass production in the future. At this stage, the technical basis for improving and stabilizing the physical properties of the material was prepared.
The development of this domestic carbon fiber-based aerospace composite material technology is meaningful in that it provided an opportunity to localize a material that had been dependent on foreign countries. In addition, it can greatly contribute to the development of domestic UAV performance and operation concept in the field of national defense in the future, and it is expected to have a positive impact on the aerospace / aerospace industry through technology transfer of related materials / technologies to the private sector.