Rapid Prototyping

Centauri performs rapid prototyping in our state-of-the-art in-house facilities.

    Our Engineering Prototype Center (EPC) is configured to support our rigorous design, build, inspect and verify product development philosophy. The EPC consists of a host of composite processing, additive manufacturing, mobile workstations, material storage, inspection and test equipment and instrumentation, housed within a 2,100 square foot laboratory. Prior to fabrication of prototypes, rigorous design and analyses are performed by our engineers and designers to understand the suitability of the prototypes for desired end-use and testing. Industry-standard and Centauri-developed analysis tools are used throughout the prototyping process. Design, suitability, end-use considerations and safety are always at the forefront of our prototyping processes to ensure repeatability, configuration management, and processing.

     

    Our Approach

     

    Centauri’s composite prototype capability is built around an advanced filament winder complex, which includes a state-of-the-art McClean-Anderson Cyclone 4-axis, 4-spool, infinite take-up winder with a maximum part diameter of 60 inches and a maximum part length of 17 feet, and an Entec 2-axis, 4 spool, zero take-up winder with a maximum part diameter of 30 inches and a maximum part length of 20 feet.  These machines are used to fabricate prototype advanced airframes, rocket motor cases, and composite storage tanks for advanced propulsion concept prototypes.

    Composite prototypes are cured in our 12’x 5’x 4’ rotisserie oven capable of curing temperatures up to 500oF. Structural composites, insulators and other molded components are formed and cured using our 75 ton, 600oF heated double platen hydraulic press. A grit blast cabinet is available for surface preparation for the structural bonding of metallic and composite components. Additive manufacturing capability is used for fabricating tooling, display units, and trial fit hardware models using a 12”x 12” x 14” inch Fortus 380 MC Carbon Fiber Edition 3D printer. Hardware dimensional inspections are performed using our 8.1’ FARO portable laser scanner and CMM inspection device, and through-the-thickness part quality inspections are performed using our hand-held Olympus phased array UT scan equipment. Pressure vessel testing is completed using Kord’s in-house hydrotest chamber and data collection system. Prototype material mechanical testing is performed using an Instron test center.

     

    Related Capabilities

    Advanced Materials

    Our analysts use both industry and Centauri-developed tools for advanced modeling and simulation.

    Computational Fluid Dynamics

    Centauri has significant experience, capabilities, and tools to develop solutions to solve our customers' problems.

    Modeling Simulation and Analysis

    Centauri focuses on enabling our customers to make data-driven decisions to discover best-value solutions.

    Advanced Materials

    Centauri is conducting material development and analysis activities for advanced composite structures. These efforts are focused on development of advanced airframes, structures, and components for high-speed, long duration flight. This includes manufacturing techniques for high-temperature resins, carbon fibers, and advanced ceramics for integrated airframe & thermal protection. Centauri capabilities for advanced materials development include the streamlined fabrication, testing, and analysis of in-house prototype designs.

    Learn More

    Computational Fluid Dynamics

    Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is used to solve engineering problems from low-speed flows involving the coldest fluids on earth, to hypersonic aerodynamic problems where the temperatures involved far exceed the temperature on the surface of the sun. Centauri's team of CFD experts work closely with our customers to understand their needs from a system perspective in order to provide the best CFD solutions possible at the speed of relevance.

    Learn More

    Modeling Simulation and Analysis

    Modeling Simulation and Analysis (MS&A) is a group of engineering processes that involves the study of system components, the development of mathematical and physics-based algorithms that can be coded into numerical software models and/or simulators. Modeling and simulation is used to explore solution trade space and evaluate alternatives to provide detailed insights to analytical questions.

    Learn More