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Minal Jain, Speaker at Materials Science Conferences
Polaris Raumflugzeuge GmbH, Germany
Title : Study of Glass Fiber Aramid Honeycomb Sandwich Material for Small-scale Aircrafts using Low-cost manufacturing techniques.


Research on structural design concepts and structural optimization for aerospace vehicles typically focuses on large vehicles produced by major aerospace companies. However, the results are often of only limited benefit for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) or start-up companies, that are developing drones or small-scale flight demonstrators. Such companies typically lack the sophisticated analysis/optimization software and manufacturing capabilities that are available at larger companies for producing high-performance structural components. Moreover, SMEs and start-ups typically operate under a higher budget and timing pressure. In consequence, the optima for low-weight/low-cost manufacturing of large vehicle structures produced by large companies, cannot directly be transferred to small vehicles produced by SMEs/start-ups. The sandwich type of construction is used in various applications due to its high strength-to-weight ratio and its capability to resist diagonal shear. Therefore, this paper will investigate sandwich construction for small-scale vehicles when using simple manufacturing techniques like hand layup and vacuum infusion. Following the investigation is the manufacturing and mechanical testing of the fabricated material specimens. The mechanical tests include bending (sandwich) and tensile (facesheet) tests. After the qualitative analysis, the figures of merit of this trade-off study are to be investigated on a quantitative basis, and include structural mass for a given load, manufacturing costs and manufacturing time involved in fabrication of a simple 3D geometry (for example: a beam) with the tested material. The focus of the study is placed on flight vehicles with low aspect-ratios, representative for high-performance aircraft geometries, and glass fiber-reinforced composite facesheets with aramid honeycomb core.


Miss. Minal Jain studied Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering at the SRM University, Chennai (India) and graduated as Bachelors of Technology in 2019. She has worked on combustion kinetics of wax-based propellants and published 2 papers on the topic. She has also worked on Geopolymer-based natural fibers composite materials and published 1 paper on the topic. She then joined University of Bremen, Bremen (Germany) in 2020 and completed her MS in Space Engineering in 2022. While she was studying in University of Bremen, she also started working in Polaris Raumflugzeuge GmbH in July 2021 as a Systems Design Engineer. She was involved in designing and manufacturing of composite materials for the flight demonstrators. She continues to work in Polaris, focusing on structure design and analysis as well as composite manufacturing and assembly of sub-orbital re-usable hypersonic spaceplanes.