An autoclave is a vessel that keeps its contents under pressure at controlled temperatures for specified periods of time. Additional mold 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 Pre-Preg Lay Up in a mold.
Typical Autoclave Applications
Autoclave composite applications include aerospace structural products, medical tabletops and accessories, many ballistic / armor products, and high-performance structural components requiring high fiber fractions and high consolidation of materials. Since several different parts are processed simultaneously, autoclave processing can be used for cost-effective prototyping.
- Programmable cure profiles accommodate several processing specifications
- Controlled, repeatable, and monitored production process
- 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