The company’s Multiple Technologies Support United Launch Alliance Delta IV Rocket Launch

May 03 2021

A revolutionary new technology developed by the National Composites Centre (NCC) and Oxford Brookes University means composite structures can now be separated (or disbonded) quickly and cheaply using a simple heat source. By making it easy to work with, repair and disassemble composite parts, this world-leading research could have a transformational impact on the design, use and end-of life recycling of wide range of products, including cars, aircraft and wind turbines.

Researchers at Oxford Brookes University demonstrated that by adding low-cost additives to off-the-shelf structural adhesives, composite parts could be separated in as little as six seconds by raising the temperature of the joint to approximately 160°C. The National Composites Centre has now proved that the new approach works at an industrial scale as part of the Technology Pull-Through Programme, designed to transition new ideas from the lab to the marketplace.


Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) supported the successful launch of a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV heavy rocket. The rocket launched a national security payload, designated NROL-82, for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) in support of a national defense mission.
The largest of the Delta IV family, and the largest rocket in the U.S. fleet, the heavy version features three common booster cores mounted together to form a triple-body rocket.

Northrop Grumman’s contributions to the ULA Delta IV heavy rocket include 11 key large composite structures including three thermal shields that house and protect the engines during flight; three centerbody structures that connect the liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquid hydrogen (LH2) tanks; the payload fairing that provides protection to the payload; the composite interstage on the center common booster core; the nose cones on the two strap-on boosters and one set of X-panel structures that connect the upper stage LOX tank with the upper stage hydrogen tank. The large-scale composite structures measure four to five meters in diameter and range from one to 15 meters in length. Northrop Grumman produced them all using advanced hand layup, machining and inspection techniques at the company’s manufacturing facility in Iuka, Mississippi.

For identifying growth opportunities in the global glass fiber market, please visit https://www.lucintel.com/glass-fiber-market.aspx

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