Consolidating touch points for saab
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The necessary design for mechanical fastening complicates the structure, especially in thin sections, because of the need for access to both sides of the bond line.
The tooling in autoclave or hot press fabrication is a significant heat sink that consumes substantial energy. These attempts have shortened the time necessary to produce a composite part, but overall fabrication costs remain high. The facesheets were susceptible to heating by induction and formed a retort to enclose the prepreg preform. 5,599,472 a technique that readily and reliably sealed the facesheets of the retort without the need for welding and permitted reuse of the facesheets in certain circumstances.Furthermore, the tooling takes significant time to heat the composite material to its consolidation temperature and, after curing the composite, to cool to a temperature at which it is safe to remove the finished composite part. Designing and making tools to permit their active cooling increases their cost. To ensure an inert atmosphere around the composite during curing and to permit withdrawing volatiles and outgassing from around the composite during the consolidation, they welded the facesheets around their periphery. This “bag-and-seal” technique applies to both resin composite and metal processing. Processing in an Induction Press The dies or tooling for induction processing are ceramic because a ceramic is not susceptible to induction heating and, preferably, is a thermal insulator (i.e., a relatively poor conductor of heat).Such welding unduly increased the preparation time and the cost for part fabrication. Ceramic tooling is strengthened and reinforced internally with fiberglass rods or other appropriate reinforcements and externally with metal or other durable strongbacks to permit it to withstand the temperatures and pressures necessary to form, to consolidate, or otherwise to process the composite materials or metals.Thus, induction heating can reduce the time required and energy consumed to fabricate a part.While graphite or boron fibers can be heated directly by induction, most organic matrix composites require a susceptor in or adjacent to the composite material preform to achieve the necessary heating for consolidation or forming.The shop is a safer and more pleasant environment for the press operators.
In induction heating for consolidating or forming organic matrix composite materials as previously described, a thermoplastic organic matrix composite preform of PEEK or ULTEM, for example, is placed within the metal susceptor envelope (i.e., retort).
Consolidation and forming pressure consolidates and, if applicable, forms the preform at its curing temperature.
The sealed susceptor sheets form a pressure zone in the retort in a manner analogous to conventional vacuum bag processes for resin consolidation.
The reduced thermal mass and ability to focus the heating energy permits change of the operating temperature rapidly which improves the products produced.
Finally, the shop environment is not heated as significantly from the radiation of the large thermal mass of a conventional press.
These thermoplastics have a low concentration of residual volatile solvents and are easy to use.