Carbon fiber sandwich construction cure via microwave

Vötsch Industrietechnik GmbH announced that its HEPHAISTOS VHM microwave-based curing systems are now being used in a serial-production environment to cure carbon fiber composite sandwich parts for aerospace applications.

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Vötsch Industrietechnik GmbH (Reiskirchen-Lindenstruth, Germany) announced that its HEPHAISTOS VHM microwave-based curing systems are now being used in a serial-production environment to cure carbon fiber composite sandwich parts for aerospace applications. Microwaves selectively penetrate the material and heat the product, but the oven chamber remains cool during this process. This facilitates shorter temperature ramp up and cooling in the part, thus reducing production costs and cure cycle time. A fairing hinge on display in the Vötsch stand was manufactured with microwave technology. It reportedly is the first nonmonolithic aerocomposite cured by microwaves. Vötsch says material characterization showed equivalent or better values compared to conventional heating processes. Vötsch adds that its ovens maintain ±2°K accuracy at rated temperature and can be listed in class 1, according to AMS 2750 E. Ovens are rated as high as 450°C/842°F — sufficient for processing thermoplastics such as polyehteretherketone (PEEK). 

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