ProTherm has several solutions for composite curing. Our heating blankets and controllers are ideal for manufacturers, composite repair technicians and anyone who works with composite materials.
Composite curing is a critical step in manufacturing quality composite materials. Traditionally, most composite parts required autoclaves for proper curing. Today, low cost out-of-autoclave curing of aerospace-grade composite parts is possible using a vacuum bagging system with a walk-in batch oven. The process is precisely controlled and monitored to ensure void-free composite parts.
Composite materials are a two-part system that consists of a cloth fiber material and an epoxy resin. The epoxy resin bonds the cloth layers together and through a curing process, forms a strong and lightweight product. The term “pre-preg” is used to identify cloth materials that are pre-pregnated or pre-saturated with a resin. They are preferred over typical wet lay-ups because they provide less mess, less waste, faster cure time, better part uniformity, and better appearance. However, these pre-preg cloth materials can be challenging to fit into the sometimes complex shapes and contours of a mold. Preheating the mold to approximately 120°F (49°C) softens the pre-preg cloth material as it is hand laid into the mold. The heat makes the cloth more malleable and easier to work along the sometimes complex geometries of the mold.