Curing Of Produced Composite Parts; Prepregs, FRP Laminates

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There are various kinds of composite production processes available in manufacturing. If thermosetting polymers are used, the curing of their thermosetting must be established. Also in general, thermosetting are used in composite production as matrix material. 

This article includes information about the curing process of produced composite parts. 

What Is Curing Of Composites?

Composite curing oven(Image Source: www.wisoven.com/products/batch-ovens/composite-curing-ovens).

When the composites are produced from the thermosetting matrix, there is a time interval required for curing. Curing is the hardening and stiffening of a composite matrix with the occurrence of cross-linking between molecules. 

These cross-linking can occur at room temperature but also additional heat can be applied. If the additional heat is applied, the curing process will take less time compared to room temperature. 

If we think about the very big composite products that are produced in hand lay-up, spray-up processes, heat application to these parts can be a tough process. 

If the produced composite parts are middle-sized compared with big parts such as boat hulls, heat can be accurately applied in special ovens. This heat application can shorten the required times from days to hours, even minutes. 

Also, the infrared light application is applied to produced parts to obtain a cured product. 

Autoclave Molding 

A middle-sized composite curing autoclave(Image Source: xirtue.net/aerospace-autoclave/)

To shorten the required curing times of composite parts, special autoclaves are designed and developed. Autoclaves are very big-sized cylindrical containers that contain high pressure and temperature. These big cylinders have doors on both sides. 

Produced big parts are placed inside these autoclaves for curing applications. 

Autoclaves are generally used in the aircraft industry. 

Conclusion

As you understand that curing is also a very important production step of composite parts. 

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