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Veelo Technologies' composite repair blankets reduce F-35 program costs

VeeloHEAT Cauls and VeeloHEAT composite repair blankets provide uniform heating, even on complex geometries, and will eliminate the need to move tooling to an autoclave for debulking. 
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F-35 Lightning program defense aircraft

Photo Credit: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

Veelo Technologies (Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.) reported on Nov. 10 that it has been selected by the U.S. Navy’s Composites Manufacturing Technology Center (CMTC) and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics (Ft. Worth, Texas, U.S.) to reduce costs on the F-35 Lightning II aircraft program. Using proprietary heating technologies, Veelo Technologies says it is specifically helping reduce costs and increase the production of composite parts that will be used on the fifth-generation combat aircraft via its VeeloHEAT Cauls and VeeloHEAT composite repair blankets. 

According to Veelo Technologies, VeeloHEAT Cauls allow for in-situ hot debulk of composites, and VeeloHEAT composite repair blankets enable repair of complex curvature parts. It is claimed the repair blankets will eliminate the need to move the tooling used to produce F-35 composite parts to an autoclave for debulking. Building on existing bagging procedures, the addition of VeeloHEAT Caul, for example, keeps the tooling out of the oven by affording heated debulk at the tool during layup. Eliminating this step is said to substantially improve throughput and reduces the time needed for debulking.

Durable, damage tolerant and drapable to allow for net-shaped solutions, Veelo Technologies adds that its VeeloHEAT Caul and VeeloHEAT composite repair blankets provide uniform heating, even on the complex geometries found in the F-35 program. Further, it cools quickly and is highly uniform across large surface areas. VeeloHEAT Caul, engineered with materials such as Viton, can also meet cleanroom requirements and can be controlled with existing hot bonders or VeeloHEAT Controllers. 

The project is being executed through the Office of Naval Research, which manages the Navy Manufacturing Technology Program (ManTech) program. Advanced Technology International (ATI) is under contract to operate CMTC for Navy ManTech.

“Veelo is proud of the opportunity to develop new capabilities for the F-35, the U.S. government’s single largest weapons program. Partnering with Lockheed Martin and the Navy is an example of our company’s vision coming to life: to be a trusted partner and problem solver to the world’s leading aerospace and defense companies and government institutions,” says Mr. Joe Sprengard, Jr., president and CEO at Veelo Technologies.

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