Booms can be defined as arms or cylinder-shaped long pipes. They are mostly used in aerial vehicles as a telescopic arm for multiple applications. For example; load carriage systems, fire-fighting vehicle; cement carrier etc.
Conventional boom parts are usually made from steel because of its strength. However, when the popularity and advantages of the composite materials are considered, steel booms can be easily replaced by composite booms. In fact, this replacement gives advantages from weight to fuel consumption.
Composite materials make booms lightweight and strong. Plus, due to the reduced weight, vehicles which carry boom systems require low fuel and gain cost-effective solution. Material properties are also corrosion-resistant.
How to Manufacture
There are several ways to manufacture composite booms. Assuming the material to be used is carbon fiber or glass fiber, primary methods are using hand lay-up, filament winding. But of course, they all have specific properties.
Manufacturing with the hand lay-up method make the mechanical properties of booms unreliable because of human ability. Moreover, manufacturing speed is low in hand lay-up and the amount of waste material can be much.
On the other hand, booms that manufactured with filament winding results in high mechanical strength regardless of human ability. The automated process helps to place fibers in desired locations on the mandrel.
Overall, the popularity of the composite booms is increasing with the advantages below;
- More than %40 reduced weight compared to steel booms
- High mechanical properties
- Corrosion-resistant — no maintenance
- Fast production with automated filament winding
- Cost-effective manufacturing
- Reduced fuel consumption