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Autoclave Process

Autoclave

The autoclave is a vessel that keeps its contents under pressure at controlled temperatures for specified periods of time. Additional pressure capabilities are enabled using vacuum ports which are accessible from inside the autoclave. Cure Schedules (also called Cure Profiles) are computer-controlled sequences of specified temperatures, pressures, and durations. The autoclave process typically utilizes a Pre-Preg Lay Up in a mold.

Typical Application

Medical tabletops and accessories, aerospace structural products, many ballistic products, high-performance structural components requiring high fiber fractions and high consolidation of materials.  Can be used for prototype parts for many applications.

Autoclave Advantages

  • Can use unidirectional fibers to optimize directional performance
  • High fiber volume fractions and high consolidation of materials
  • Precise control of resin content
  • Capable of manufacturing complicated shapes
  • Low tooling costs
  • Extended working time due to resin stability

Autoclave Disadvantages

  • Labor Intensive
  • Capital-intensive equipment
  • Limited cycles per day
  • Higher raw material costs