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9/24/2012

Portable autoclaves for composites repair

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HEATCON Composite Systems has introduced a portable autoclave known as the RepairClave, which provides a less expensive alternative for curing many parts formally reserved for traditional autoclaves.

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HEATCON Composite Systems (Seattle, Wash.) has introduced a portable autoclave known as the RepairClave, which provides a less expensive alternative for curing many parts formerly reserved for traditional autoclaves. HEATCON notes that although the repair of many composite structures is typically performed using hot bonders, the vacuum-generated pressure might not reach a level sufficient to consolidate more complex repairs, which could require 50 psi/3.45 bar or higher. The autoclave provides aerospace facilities with the capability to perform these repairs at higher pressures, yet does so at a fraction of the cost of a traditional autoclave cure. Because it does not use the inert gases typically required in conventional autoclave pressure application processes, the RepairClave is said to provide a safer, more environmentally friendly curing alternative. HEATCON’s portable autoclave combines heat blanket technology with one pressure zone and multiple heater control zones to provide even air pressure and localized heat. Localized heat is applied by the same silicone rubber heat blankets used in hot bonder repairs.

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