The Composite Fabricator has become an increasingly important occupation in the construction, maintenance, and repair of modern aircraft of all sizes, shapes, and purposes. Composite fabricators require a solid knowledge of, and experience in, chemistry and the composition of state-of-the-art composite materials such as Aramid fiber, carbon fiber, boron fiber, and the many forms of glass fiber. Understanding the chemical properties and handling procedures for the resin-matrix systems that are combined with these fibers is essential base knowledge. The ability to interpret blueprints and official documentation is also a vital skill. Vacuum tables, autoclaves, and specially designed, dust-free “clean rooms” are the primary tools and workplaces.
Composite Fabricators are involved in the manufacture, modification, repair, and inspection of aircraft composite structures and are required to store, handle, process and cure composite materials. They follow specialized procedures that require the hands-on set-up and operation of advanced tools and equipment, while also using semi-automated processes. More experienced composite fabricators may engage in non-destructive inspections of composite structures to determine the extent of damage to, and integrity of, aircraft composite structures.
This occupation requires people with exacting skills in, and extensive knowledge of, the repairable and non-repairable criteria for damaged composite structures, organic resin composition, product shelf life and lamination procedures. For instance, advanced epoxy prepreg materials are stored frozen to ensure serviceability when needed. Because of the hazardous and toxic nature of the materials used, composite fabricators are highly trained to understand and respect the required environmental, and health and safety procedures.
- Completion of secondary school, with science and technical credits (required)
- Accredited training at an institute specializing in the instruction of Advanced Composite Aircraft Structural Manufacturing and Repair (preferred)
- Completion of an Aviation Maintenance or Structures program at a community college (an asset)
- Experience as an Aviation Maintenance Engineer (AME-S) (an asset)
- CCAA certification (an asset)
- Thorough knowledge of safe work practices, environmental safety and regulations applicable to the handling of composite materials
- Knowledge of the physical and chemical properties of state-of-the-art compounds
- Knowledge of, and skills background in, working with power tools of all types
- Ability to work with others cooperatively and follow directions precisely
- Composite Fabricator
- Inspector – Composites Structures
- Structures Manufacturing Specialist
- Structures Repair Specialist