What Is Open Architecture?

Open Architecture is shorthand for a patented set of technologies to produce Open-Architecture Composite Structures (O-ACS).

O-ACS technologies are based on braiding and over-braiding, with dramatic additional innovations that produce physical structures in truss-like forms that offer equivalent or greater strength-to-weight ratios than the same structures when produced through standard braiding or over-braiding – while requiring fewer raw materials at faster throughput speeds.

This *IS* Rocket Science

The key innovations in O-ACS as compared to braiding and over-braiding derive from its use of large, pre-preg cords – known as cord-preg – which enable complex structures to be designed and engineered as open, web-like exterior surfaces that surround empty or hollow interior space while preserving the essential advantages of composite materials as a class.

The exotic appearance of O-ACS products reflects the roots of its development using Finite Elemental Analysis (FEA) and a NASA Space Fellowship awarded to fund doctoral research on minimal weight composite structures for use in space and aerospace vehicles.

By methodically and exhaustively stripping out the maximum conceivable volume of raw materials while simultaneously re-imagining and engineering new possible configurations for those raw materials, a leap forward in design and performance was achieved: Open-Architecture Composite Structures.

Advanced Benefits at Lighter Weight

Imagine construction rebar that is far stronger than steel yet has only a small fraction of steel’s weight – and provides structural stability that far exceeds it. Let’s look at the numbers:

With a flexural rigidity (EI) measure of nearly 1000, a typical O-ACS triaxial tube might have a mass of approximately 20 grams. The comparable structure made of steel, aluminum or titanium would have a mass upwards of 200 grams.

Aside from strength-to-weight, the key comparative benefits of O-ACS technology are:

  • Less raw material needed – lower cost, less waste
  • No-infusion process – utilizes pre-preg technology
  • Rapid manufacture – improved throughput speeds
  • High specific properties
  • Tailoring of properties – strength, stiffness, weight, cost
  • Complex shapes and geometries easily formed – using over-braiding equipment and processes
  • High damage tolerance

Elemental Strength from Custom-Braided Cords

The O-ACS process uses computer-aided design and models to determine an optimal, custom fiber mix to best suit your performance goals and business objectives. Pre-preg fibers are then braided together with stabilizing yarns into cord-preg, which is the foundation material of O-ACS. Stabilizing yarns are included in the cord-preg to support the uncured braided structure during its formation into a complex near-net-shape.

After curing, the stabilizing yarns are removed and a rigid O-ACS product remains – ready for your manufacturing or construction process.

Like Matter Itself, Largely Made of Space

The physics of atomic structure have revealed to us that a remarkable 99.999% of matter is actually space.

As mind-bending as that notion may be, the facts about the structure of matter make it easier to understand O-ACS technology.

Using integrated metal or plastic components to create over-braided forms, the core of an O-ACS product can assume a complex shape while pliable, and then be cured to become rigid. There is currently no way other than our patented method to mold largely open, web-like surfaces into hollow structures that retain high impact and energy absorption characteristics.

Ultimately, O-ACS components can have an architectural and aesthetic feel impossible to produce with competing technologies. Like braided and over-braided structures, O-ACS components can be manufactured for redundancy, repeatability, and consistency – so you are assured of getting the right structure every time.