Lyman-Morse Technologies landed two contracts in 2020 to produce a large composite wind tunnel and air duct components.
The processes and precision methods employed at Lyman-Morse to build boats translates directly to building just about anything. Steve Crane, composite division manager, and his team approached the project just as they would any boat building project. Lyman-Morse’s in-house designers used 3D modeling software to finalize the design and engineering data.
This data was input into Lyman-Morse’s CNC machine to cut the mold frames to the exacting tolerances required for the intended performance of the wind tunnel. As in boatbuilding, the composite team built a mold and laid in the composite layers. In this particular case, the parts were made in quadrants from male molds which create the inner surface of the wind tunnels. To finish the inner surface, the inside of the tunnels includes a layer of gelcoat. When assembled the wind tunnel will be 30′ long with a 16′ diameter.
The air ducting project presented some new challenges to the Lyman-Morse composites team. The system will be used in an application where the air circulating through the duct is laden with seawater. Composites were selected for their proven track record to withstand this corrosive atmosphere. Built to exacting ASTM standards, the entire system when fully assembled is 120’ long.