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Autoclaves

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M A Mccarthy – 1st expert on this subject based on the ideXlab platform

  • Mechanical characterisation of carbon fibre-PEEK manufactured by laser-assisted automated-tape-placement and autoclave
    Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 2015
    Co-Authors: A. J. Comer, D. Le Ray, W. O. Obande, D. Jones, J. Lyons, Irina Roşca, R M Higgins, M A Mccarthy

    Abstract:

    Obtaining autoclave-level mechanical properties using in-situ consolidation of thermoplastic composites by Automated Tape Placement (ATP) is challenging. However, relatively recent availability of high quality ATP grade pre-preg material and tape heads equipped with more efficient heat sources (e.g. lasers) offers an opportunity to achieve improved mechanical properties and deposition rates. In the present study, carbon fibre-PEEK laminates, manufactured by laser-assisted ATP (LATP) and autoclave, are compared. Analysis of the through-thickness temperature distribution during LATP processing using thermocouples indicates that LATP cooling rates are extremely rapid and suggests full through-thickness melting of the pre-preg tape may not occur. Inadequate crystallinity, in conjunction with voids, compromised mechanical properties compared to autoclaved laminates but was beneficial in terms of the toughness of LATP laminates. Optimisation of pre-preg properties and processing parameters is required to realise the full potential of the LATP process in terms of mechanical properties, energy requirements, cost and deposition rates.

R. Mcilhagger – 2nd expert on this subject based on the ideXlab platform

  • a comparison of physical properties of glass fibre epoxy composites produced by wet lay up with autoclave consolidation and resin transfer moulding
    Composites Part A-applied Science and Manufacturing, 1998
    Co-Authors: D Abraham, S Matthews, R. Mcilhagger

    Abstract:

    Comparisons are reported for composite samples of similar resin and fibre systems which were processed using the wet lay-up with autoclave consolidation and resin transfer moulding (RTM) by vacuum impregnation. Similar degrees of cure were obtained for laminates using the two methods of processing and the arising thermal and physical properties (tensile, flexural, interlaminar shear strength (ILSS), void content and thickness variation) were measured. The fibre dominated properties (i.e. flexural and tensile strength) were found to be higher for the autoclaved samples due to the higher volume fraction arising from the superior compaction pressure, although when normalised on the basis of fibre volume fraction the results were similar. The matrix dominated ILSS values were higher for the RTM samples and this was attributed to improved wetting, reduced void content and a slightly lower degree of cure. Thermal analysis also indicated that the autoclaved (60% glass fibre by volume) composite attained a slightly higher glass transition temperature than that achieved by RTM (50% fibre by volume) for similar cure times and cure temperatures. The significance of the results in an industrial context is discussed.

  • A comparison of physical properties of glass fibre epoxy composites produced by wet lay-up with autoclave consolidation and resin transfer moulding
    Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 1998
    Co-Authors: D Abraham, S Matthews, R. Mcilhagger

    Abstract:

    Comparisons are reported for composite samples of similar resin and fibre systems which were processed using the wet lay-up with autoclave consolidation and resin transfer moulding (RTM) by vacuum impregnation. Similar degrees of cure were obtained for laminates using the two methods of processing and the arising thermal and physical properties (tensile, flexural, interlaminar shear strength (ILSS), void content and thickness variation) were measured. The fibre dominated properties (i.e. flexural and tensile strength) were found to be higher for the autoclaved samples due to the higher volume fraction arising from the superior compaction pressure, although when normalised on the basis of fibre volume fraction the results were similar. The matrix dominated ILSS values were higher for the RTM samples and this was attributed to improved wetting, reduced void content and a slightly lower degree of cure. Thermal analysis also indicated that the autoclaved (60% glass fibre by volume) composite attained a slightly higher glass transition temperature than that achieved by RTM (50% fibre by volume) for similar cure times and cure temperatures. The significance of the results in an industrial context is discussed. © 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Jan-anders E. Månson – 3rd expert on this subject based on the ideXlab platform

  • economic and environmental assessment of alternative production methods for composite aircraft components
    Journal of Cleaner Production, 2012
    Co-Authors: Robert A. Witik, Fabrice Gaille, Rémy Teuscher, Heike Ringwald, Veronique Michaud, Jan-anders E. Månson

    Abstract:

    The use of carbon fibre reinforced plastics is steadily increasing in the aerospace industry as rising fuel costs and concerns over the environment push airframe manufacturers to improve aircraft efficiency. The high costs associated with manufacturing carbon fibre reinforced components in Autoclaves have prompted interest in alternative out-of-autoclave processing methods. In this study a combined cost modelling and life-cycle assessment approach is applied to selected out-of-autoclave production scenarios. Out-of-autoclave specific “prepregs” and resin infused fabrics are cured in thermal and microwave ovens of comparable volume and assessed against a benchmark autoclave scenario. Results showed that materials, in particular carbon fibres, contributed most significantly to component cost and environmental impacts. Resin infusion processes were effective at reducing costs, as reinforcement fabrics and resin were less expensive. Due to the small contribution of energy to total cost, reductions in energy use did not lead to significant savings, although they did improve the environmental performance of the manufacturing process. Out-of-autoclave specific prepregs did not perform as well due to their higher costs, longer associated cycle times and the need for lengthy de-bulking operations. Microwave oven curing offered little in terms of cost reduction and environmental improvement as investment costs were comparable to those of an autoclave, and energy consumption was relatively high compared with traditional thermal oven use. Opportunities for improvement exist if investment costs can be reduced and additional work carried out to promote more efficient transfer of energy. Improvement of the carbon fibre production process would be the most effective approach for reducing impacts and costs from carbon fibre components. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • Economic and environmental assessment of alternative production methods for composite aircraft components
    Journal of Cleaner Production, 2012
    Co-Authors: Robert A. Witik, Fabrice Gaille, Rémy Teuscher, Heike Ringwald, Veronique Michaud, Jan-anders E. Månson

    Abstract:

    The use of carbon fibre reinforced plastics is steadily increasing in the aerospace industry as rising fuel costs and concerns over the environment push airframe manufacturers to improve aircraft efficiency. The high costs associated with manufacturing carbon fibre reinforced components in Autoclaves have prompted interest in alternative out-of-autoclave processing methods. In this study a combined cost modelling and life-cycle assessment approach is applied to selected out-of-autoclave production scenarios. Out-of-autoclave specific “prepregs” and resin infused fabrics are cured in thermal and microwave ovens of comparable volume and assessed against a benchmark autoclave scenario. Results showed that materials, in particular carbon fibres, contributed most significantly to component cost and environmental impacts. Resin infusion processes were effective at reducing costs, as reinforcement fabrics and resin were less expensive. Due to the small contribution of energy to total cost, reductions in energy use did not lead to significant savings, although they did improve the environmental performance of the manufacturing process. Out-of-autoclave specific prepregs did not perform as well due to their higher costs, longer associated cycle times and the need for lengthy de-bulking operations. Microwave oven curing offered little in terms of cost reduction and environmental improvement as investment costs were comparable to those of an autoclave, and energy consumption was relatively high compared with traditional thermal oven use. Opportunities for improvement exist if investment costs can be reduced and additional work carried out to promote more efficient transfer of energy. Improvement of the carbon fibre production process would be the most effective approach for reducing impacts and costs from carbon fibre components.