This report covers Japanese research and development in the manufacturing of polymer composite structures. The study was supported by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Army Research Office, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Manufacturing technologies covered include lamination, pultrusion, filament winding, compression molding, thermoforming, and liquid molding (RTM, SRIM, etc.). Applications covered include aerospace (civil and military), civil engineering, automotive, and industrial. In addition, the report covers developments in composite materials, manufacturing and processing science, and composite product and process development methods. The report is based on site visits in Japan conducted in the fall of 1992, with updates provided by the panel's Japanese hosts in 1993 and early 1994. The panel concluded that the same basic manufacturing technologies are practiced in both the United States and Japan. However, Japanese companies implement these technologies with greater respect for detail, leading directly to the high quality evident in their operations and parts, also reducing errors and costs. The panel observed impressive Japanese efforts to reduce composite detail part count, a high level of excellence in co-curing, and an emphasis on dry-fiber preforming.

Copyright 1994 by Loyola College in Maryland. The U.S. government retains a nonexclusive and nontransferable license to exercise all exclusive rights provided by copyright. The ISBN number for this report is 1-883712-32-7. This report is distributed by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce as NTIS Report # PB94-161403. Information on ordering from NTIS and a list of JTEC/WTEC reports is available from NTIS.

Published: April 1994; WTEC Hyper-Librarian